Fringe review: An Evening With Devon & Jackie is a sketch surprise

evening with devon and jackie fringe 2022
Photo by Peter Stelmach

AN EVENING WITH DEVON & JACKIE by Devon Henderson and Jackie Twomey (Devon & Jackie/Toronto Fringe Festival). At the Robert Gill Theatre (214 College, 3rd floor). July 12 at 7:45 pm, July 13 at 8 pm, July 15 at 2 pm, July 17 at 2:15 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN


Remember the names Devon Henderson and Jackie Twomey. The two sketch comics are bursting with comedic talent, which they showcase in An Evening With Devon & Jackie.

After a cute introduction about theatre-going that references everything from The Old Spaghetti Factory and Jake Epstein’s recent solo show to witnessing a full-on hand job at the front row of a theatre, they launch into the show proper.

Long-time friends, the two have an obvious onstage chemistry; Henderson often plays confident, extroverted types and Twomey more nervous, shy characters. That’s certainly the case in the opening sketch where Henderson’s jaded 31-year-old single woman meets up for a blind date and doesn’t want to know a thing about the guy (Twomey) because she’s sure she’ll be let down by his politics. Twomey’s self-conscious line “I have no opinions about women’s emotions!” gets the first big laugh, and the blackout line is hilarious.

In another fine sketch, Twomey plays a young woman decluttering her childhood bedroom when she discovers her old bank book (Henderson), who is now let loose in the modern world. The premise is imaginative, and the execution – the show is sharply directed by Second City alum Kirsten Rasmussen – superb.

My favourite sketch follows two brain cells inside a hormonally active 13-year-old girl (Henderson) as she obsesses about her high-school crush. If this were on SNL, it would be a recurring sketch.

The pair finish with a parody of a 50s sitcom, then replay the scene using improvised audience suggestions.

Throughout, there’s a specificity to their work that gives each sketch a grounded, authentic feel. Can’t wait to see what they do next.

Director Kirsten Rasmussen is one of NOW’s 10 artists to watch at this year’s Fringe. See the full list here.

@glennsumi

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