ASIANSPLOITATION: BE MORE PACIFIC. Robert Gill Theatre. July.
ASIANSPLOITATION: BE MORE PACIFIC. Robert Gill Theatre. July 5 at 4:30 pm, July 7 at 7:30 pm, July 8 at noon, July 9 at 10:30 pm. Buy tickets. Rating: N
Asiansploitation’s Be More Pacific marks the all-Asian sketch comedy troupe’s 10th anniversary, so you’d think they’d be more polished. But I’ve seen them several times over the past decade, and they haven’t noticeably improved. Some of the cast members don’t even know how to enunciate and project words on a stage. Which is a shame, because as an Asian-Canadian and a lover of comedy, I really want them to be good.
Alas, the premises – if you can call them that – are stale and undeveloped. A couple bickers because one of them’s binge-watched a show without the other a Chinese amusement park called Pandaland features a ride called the Censor Ship one troupe member gets pulled over at customs and asked to use his improv skills to prove he’s funny. He’s not. And neither is this sketch.
New cast member Anthony Tran has a great alternative vibe, and Tiffany Kwan (this is her second revue with the company) brings a fierce concentration to some of her roles. But what can you do when your material consists of a Law And Order spoof in which a farmer is charged with abusing his cow, which leads to a PSA about C.O.D., or Consent Only Dairy?
Even the bookending numbers – in which the performers suggest how much Asian culture has seeped into the mainstream – lack energy, internal logic and humour.