Their combined recent credits include the Second City, Made In Canada, the Stratford Festival and a teeny tiny little musical called The Drowsy Chaperone. But sketch troupe Skippy's Rangers - Lisa Lambert, Bob Martin, Paul O'Sullivan and Jonathan Crombie - haven't performed their comedy in front of a live audience since the Rivoli in 2000. Until now, that is. The Gemini-nominated quartet's taking over the Tim Sims this weekend."This show is like Skippy's 101," explains Lambert. "In the past few years, lots of young comics who'd never seen us asked if we were ever going to perform again."
The result is a show of mostly old material "plus a few new songs and some sketches we never figured out that we're going to try again."
One of the strongest troupes of the 90s, Skippy's and their material have always been classics. Count on them doing their popular sketch Agnostic Wedding - filled with a note-perfect spiritually ambivalent sermon - but don't expect references to the war.
"When we were doing sketch in the 90s there was so much tension because we didn't know what we wanted out of life," laughs Lambert. "Now we're more settled and there's less stress. This is therapeutic for all of us."
Stand-up Jeff Elliott is the winner of the Laugh Resort's Funniest Comic With A Day Job contest. With his solid set that included jabs at local sports fans, hookers and the crazy weather, the dark-edged comic - who's been doing amateur nights for less than a year and works as a bartender and contractor - wins a spot at an upcoming Just For Laughs showcase in Montreal.Elliott beat out second- and third-place comics Carolyn Beiber and Matt Richardson, as well as Jillian Thomas, Darren Rossell and Alex Kojfman.
After Elliott thanked the audience for laughing, one teary-eyed woman yelled out to him, "Jeff, you've got one person crying here."
To which Elliott said, "C'mon, Dad." Now that's good timing.
Here's an award with financial punch. Among the recipients of the 2003 K.M. Hunter Artist Awards presented earlier this month were writer/performer Kelly McIntosh, who picked up the theatre award, and Santee Smith, who took the dance award home. In addition to the public and community recognition, each artist gets an $8,000 prize.