Sketch comedy is rare in Windsor-Essex. There aren’t really any troupes in town like Second City, The Frantics or even to a lesser degree, The Muppets, but that’s not stopping the united efforts of Windsor’s Purple Theatre Company and Post Productions. The two theatre companies are united for one more weekend of a run of short, amusing vignettes called Bite Me Big Time at The Shadowbox Theatre until July 30.
Written by a local group known only as The Pickle Jam Collective, Bite Me Big Time was a script submitted to the 2021 Windsor-Essex Playwriting Contest that didn’t win because it didn’t fit the format Post was looking to produce at the time. Lucky for audiences, the script was presented to Joey Ouellette of the Purple Theatre Company and the resulting production is 90 minutes of non-stop laughs.
It’s a bit of an adult gathering, because it focuses on inappropriate relationships and sexual behaviour, but none of these topics are taken seriously. That being said, the program mainly focuses on the obsessions people have with animals like bees, whales, fish, squirrels, beavers, penguins, pigs and more. Most of the characters want to be like the animals they obsess over, as evidently seen in the over-the-top and incredibly funny exploration of ostrich orgasms, as humorously portrayed by Rebecca S. Mickle.
Not having many chances to catch sketch comedy productions live in action, the expectations are pretty high on this show and the cast tickle the funny bone with all their might. It has to be difficult to live up to legends like The Frantics or Second City, but the troupe of actors assembled for this production are quite capable and many of these bits could match up against classic skits like Ti Kwan Leep from the infamous album Boot To The Head by The Frantics.
The skits here are led by two very quiet therapists (Fay Lynn and Doak) who take turns listening to some very tall tales from some very colourful characters. The facial expressions and lack of actual dialog make these two characters surprisingly funny. But as funny as they may be, their visitors are even more hilarious. From male issues with Joey Ouellette, who appears as a man who married a chicken, or Michael K. Potter, who reveals he wants to be a whale, to female issues like Chantel Pare, who acts like a squirrel or Rebecca S. Mickle’s job as a marine… umm… let’s just say she works intimately with dolphins.
The entire cast work well together and seem to enjoy the opportunities to expand their skills or just improve on their overall silliness. In order of appearance, they are Fay Lynn, Shana Thibert, Joey Ouellette, Rebecca S. Mickle, Michael K. Potter, Jennifer Desaulniers, Mikayla Bondy and Chantel Pare.
With 14 skits and nine actors, there’s lots to take in and lots for your money. It’s a great value, very funny and a wonderful chance to shed those two years of COVID blues with an old school laugh at humanity.
Three more performance remain, with shows on July 28, 29 and 30. For more information or tickets, visit: www.postproductionswindsor.ca.