The sexual misconduct allegations against Philippe Bond did not dampen the atmosphere at the Just for Laughs gala hosted by Phil Roy and Roxane Bruneau on Thursday night. The comedy community withdrew from the fray for a brief show, but masterfully led by the animator duo.
It’s hard to believe that this was Roxane Bruneau’s first comedy gala. The singer was not only welcomed like a queen by her beloved “Cocos”, but also quickly found her way in the boards of an accomplice and enthusiastic Théâtre Maisonneuve.
Photo Martin Alari
Ludovick Bourgeois came to help Roxane Bruneau with the opening number.
Certainly we feared nothing for her, knowing her ease on stage and her complicity with Phil Roy. But to say that the interpreter of success My way To do justice to the occasion would almost be an understatement given his disarming naturalness and compelling personality.
Only drawback? The (too many) gags and allusions to the weight of his co-moderator not only seemed superfluous, but above all like from another time – thank God! – Path.
Photo Martin Alari
As always, Phil Roy was lovable, efficient and most of all funny.
Among the highlights of the show, Simon Delisle was particularly effective with a range of issues centered around… the pandemic. A subject that we’ll admit is a little tired of, but one that the comedian has been able to use to his advantage thanks to his obvious talent as a storyteller and his damn well-written and delivered gags.
Eddy King also proved surprisingly touching and profound with a segment on a particularly touchy subject: the war in Ukraine. Inspired by his pain in explaining the tragic events to his eight-year-old daughter, the comedian hit the mark in front of a won audience.
Silvi Tourigny provided the evening’s most deliciously unconventional moment, bringing back her famously tongue-in-cheek character, Carole – and her equally famous turtleneck – for a festive (well, by her standards) number.
The star of the night, however, goes to Adib Alkhalidey at his best, who took the opportunity to beat Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge and Anne Casabonne, earning the most enthusiastic ovation of the night. This achievement is made all the more impressive given that the comedian has chosen to present a new number at each of the festival’s four galas.
This gala also allowed us to discover the young Antoni Remillard, a name that we will now be watching closely. Her number, devoted almost entirely to her nearsightedness and her glasses, may have been a little long at times, but what we particularly remember is her undeniable charisma and her endearing gaze.
We were still surprised when the show ended after around 70 minutes, a bit short for many viewers who showed their disappointment as they left the room. One of them, visibly in disbelief, also addressed an usher at the end of the show, believing that it was in fact a simple pause.
►The galas continue on Friday and Saturday with evenings hosted by Richardson Zéphir and Eddy King and Rosalie Vaillancourt respectively.