Free Beer Party (of Canada) is a bit of a misnomer; there is no free beer (I was disappointed too). What this show does have, however, is 13 sketches brought to you by the Palcoholics, a promising sketch duo from Toronto.
There’s a wide variety of inspiration for these sketches – some of the best include Andy Griffiths’ beloved hometown of Mayberry being overrun with spiders, an extremely conscientious rock-and-roll roadie, and an infomercial for Jason Statham’s self-help DVD, “Statham Steps”. The title, besides being a tricky advertising ploy, refers to the first sketch and the only one to feature any costumes (even though it’s only kid gloves and snooty hats).
Each sketch lasts about 5 minutes, there is no overarching plotline to tie them all together. What is consistent is the energy that performers Matthew Nadeau and Aaron Peever bring to the stage, bringing each scene up to the level it needs – some of the sketches are better than others, but Nadeau and Peever really do their best to mitigate that. Some sketches are side-splittingly funny, some are amusing, one is actually fairly sad until the punchline hits. The humour is both macho and silly – it may not be for everyone, but it’s not the only sketch show at Fringe this year. Nadeau, with his easy, commanding presence, and Peever, with his quicker-paced energy, demonstrate multiple ways to tell a joke (surprise punchlines, unexpected repetition, groan-worthy puns) and make every sketch funny even though not all of them have punchlines – they understand both jokes and situational humour, which is enough to make me want to see what they do next.
Free Beer Party (of Canada)
A Palcoholics production
Written and Performed by Matthew Nadeau and Aaron Peever
Running Time: 60 minutes
Playing at Studio Léonard-Beaulne
Saturday June 20 6:00 pm
Sunday June 21 2:30 pm
Tuesday June 23 10:30 pm