Review – An Evening with Sammy J and Randy
Comedy is hard. Music-based comedy is harder. I can only imagine the relief Sammy J and Randy feel knowing their puppet-featuring, music-based comedy is a roaring success.
As most would have, I first encountered this dynamic duo as one of a slew of acts at the MICF Gala, enjoying their not ventriloquism shtick, musical stylings and delightful chemistry. But I’d always been left wondering whether or not such a niche act could keep my attention for a feature-length duration. The answer, I’m glad to say, is a resounding yes.
The show opens in song which is quickly interrupted by chaos, and thus setting the tone for the rest of the show; an always planned, yet at times messy and delightful mishmash of razor-sharp wit and showmanship. When things go well, they go really well, and when things do seem to come unstuck for brief moments, these seasoned performers feed off the awkward. There are times though when it becomes apparent that Randy is much more comfortable dealing with the throng, and ironic interjection of two hecklers on the night I attended, while his more human counterpart thrives in the safety of his piano and well-rehearsed set-pieces.
The songs were outstanding, though a few perhaps too familiar, but overall the balance between comedy, music, puppetry, audience participation, planning and chaos results in what could easily be my favourite show of the festival.