Opening Night Gala with Martin Short @ The Centre – February 8th 2013

The Vancouver Comedy and Arts Fest has been a staple in our fair city for many years. Because of the folks behind the festival we see a plethora of comedic talent join our city, year over year.

My favorite part, of this multi-day, muli-venue event, is the Opening Night Gala. This definitely gives you the most bang for your buck. The show includes a headliner/master of ceremonies, plus a bevy of acts from the pool of comedianc performing throughout the festival. So for a single ticket price, you usually end up seeing 7 or more comedians.

Well this year was no different, we were given a great line up featuring Martin Short, Phil Hanley, Kristen Schaal, Matt Kirshen, Reggie Watts, Wil Anderson, and Jon Dore. I mean, that is a ton of talent for one single night.

I walked into the Centre for the Performing Arts, on Friday night, about 10 minutes before showtime. The place didn’t really seem that busy. As I found my seat, and waited for things to start, I soon realized that like me, many people decided to show up minutes before the show. I looked back and the doors to the venue were suddenly jammed with hundreds of people flooding to their seats. It was a funny to see.

The night was started off with Wil Davis, from the fest team, thanking everyone and going over the highlights of the evening. From there on in it was a fast paced ride through the minds of our comedic cast.

Martin Short played out the night bringing to life some of his best characters. We were presented with Ed Grimley, the loveable and creepy character from his days on SCTV. We were also blessed with an interview sessions from his alter ego, Jiminy Glick. He also filled his time on stage with a few spoof songs. The audience loved him. I agreed with them, he is definitely a loveable guy.

From the 6 comedians that made up the rest of the night, their were two shinning starts. Reggie Watts and Wil Anderson were unbelievable interesting and funny. Reggie Watts played out his set with a musical medley, while injecting a constant changing of his accent. He was colorful and clever and just downright entertaining. Wil Anderson was the exclamation point on the event, his real-life style and down-to-earth persona really wrapped up the evening. He was definitely the funniest of the night, and it made me go home and start searching the interweb for more of his work.

All in all the night was a solid 7 out of 10. The line-up wasn’t as strong as past years, but it did make for a fun night out. I think the biggest miss for me, was the number of awkward-style comedians. Usually the festival balances the line-up nicely with various types of comedians, but this year they were way too heavy on that particular style. Don’t get me wrong, I still thoroughly enjoyed the night, I just wish they had some more variation.

I would like to thank the people at the Vancouver Comedy and Arts Fest. Keep up the great work.

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