The Shittiest Pyramid Is a Little Bit Wobbly

I began my evening at the Living Room (formerly The Theatre Nova Scotia Space on Agricola) looking thoroughly perplexed throughout the sketch comedy show Wealthy Bear Presents: The World’s Shittiest Pyramid. When you don’t laugh a single time, you know something is wrong. I could perhaps write that these bears, wealthy or otherwise, presented ‘the world’s shittiest sketch comedy show,’ but that joke seems too easy and a mite unfair.
Sketch Comedy is a challenging art form because it is difficult and it is complicated, but it is meant to appear simple, even, sometimes, stupid. Yet, sketch comedy is clever and tightly woven. Sketches are honed and polished until they dramatize the essence of an idea that can be clearly conveyed to the audience. In theory, the audience will also laugh.
The World’s Shittiest Pyramid predominantly had sketches that hadn’t been work shopped enough. The seed of the idea may have been clever, but the sketches became too convoluted or lasted for ages beyond where the joke stopped being funny. Some could have been funny if they were executed in a different manner. There was a sketch based on Quinpool Road restaurant Freeman’s and their sign in the window that reads, “The Best Pizza in Town- Bill Cosby,” and Cosby becomes a recurring figure throughout the show. This would be funny if the actor were Eddie Murphy, who can do a Bill Cosby impression, but instead the actor just said, “I’m Bill Cosby” in a sort of grandiose voice. It made me wonder why Bill Cosby should be the recurring butt of their joke.
Conversely, a sketch about a dinner party in which a mysterious figure named “The Shade” knew everything made sense, but the essence of the sketch was lost amid aimless chatter, and a climax that waited far too long to culminate. A Reading Rainbow sketch had the essence of a brilliant idea; it just went on for far too long and didn’t deal with witty enough scenarios within the sketch. Also, as with Bill Cosby, Josh Tibbetts did not impersonate LeVar Burton, so lots of potential for comedy was lost. On the bright side, I realized where I stole the catchphrase “you don’t have to take my word for it” from.
What is somewhat frustrating, (and somewhat encouraging) is that I believe that all four of the young men in The Wealthy Bears, Stewart Delo, Chris Ferrill, Josh Tibbetts, and Conor Purdy, are talented, proficient performers. They show promise with accents (especially Ferrill), Delo can make a plethora of “crazy old man” noises, Ferrill has a gorgeous singing voice and would be very well suited, I think, to the work of Oscar Wilde. I think that what these four performers need is an outside eye. I think that if they had someone to rein in their exuberance and help them to shape their ideas and to encourage them to hone their craft, they could create a sketch show that was worthy of stitches. At the same time, I would assume with proper direction, these young men would be quite proficient in the realm of straight theatre too.
In all, I felt like the Wealthy Bears needed to be reminded that comedy is not just about funny words, funny voices, or yelling. It is ultimately about context. Just because you say “shit” or “sodomy” or “I’m Bill Cosby” doesn’t guarantee a thing. Words are like tools; it is what you make with them that procures the results and the laughs.
Wealthy Bear Presents: The World’s Shittiest Pyramid is $5.00.
Schedule: September 5, The Living Room (2353 Agricola Street) @ 5:50 PM. September 6, The Living Room @ 4:20 PM. September 7, The Living Room @ 5:00 PM. September 8, The Living Room @ 9:10 PM. September 9, The Living Room @ 6:10 PM. September 10, The Living Room @ 7:40 PM. September 12, The Living Room @ 2:10 PM. September 13, The Living Room @ 4:40 PM

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