Review by Danny Gaisin
Way back (1950’s) at High School in Montreal, there were three categories of ‘bad boys’. The worst were those taken to the cloak-room for the strap; next were those sent down to the Principal; and for minor miscreants; exiled from the classroom and told to sit by the door until the bell rang. These were known as ‘The kids in the hall’ and due to my big mouth – I was regularly so banished.
Photo courtesy of David Hawe
The satirical comedy troupe Kids in the Hall is now three decades old and possess a host of awards given by their genre colleagues. From their start as a Club group to TV and then a coarse show on cable, Kevin McDonald; Scott Thompson; Mark McKinney; Bruce McCulloch & Dave Foley own a definite niche in North American comedy. As an employment back-up those names could surely be immediate hires at a certain fast food franchise!
Sprinkled with local Hamilton references, (the Hammer; Waterfalls & belching smelters) their shtick remains steadfast. Those ubiquitous dresses and normally off-limits social subjects make for a much-too-short ninety minutes. A novel HIV questionnaire bit is a continual giggle right up until the subject finally admitting to a positive attitude! Illness and death are portrayed with the same respect as one would anticipate in a ‘Family Guy’ episode. Peeing and other natural body effects are represented but surprisingly –no Farting!
There is one bit where two of the team ‘scat’ a à Ella Fitzgerald while the other trio act out the scenario. A clever solo is the opening historical oratorio retelling of the team’s history. The mis-cues and fumbles seem a trifle too rehearsed but still attack one’s funny bone. The curtain-raiser with the team in bridal-gown attire is dedicated to the audience; it’s reprieved in the finale drunkard bit – also consigned on all our behalf’s. No doubt, MADD will certainly have a response to that.
The tour travels to Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and London before heading Stateside. As we theatre-types are supposed to say ‘Break a Leg; KID-dies’.