Walking on Bombshells premiered at Toronto Second City on March 19. The 82nd revue at the iconic comedy club took us on a comic journey against the backdrop of a TTC subway station. This brand-new show is hysterically funny, fast-paced physical comedy with a wonderfully talented cast. After two hours, which felt like five minutes, I was left wanting more.
Whether riding the TTC or bike, or driving, the cast took us through different scenarios where we “walk on bombshells” in the minefield that has become modern society. The subway setting acts like a petri dish where humanity meets, chats, questions, exchanges views that strive to be more or less politically correct.
Sprinkled with politics, themes encompass modern life, relationships, technology, condo buying, bilingualism, cultural and ethnical divides, body shaming, politically correctness, prejudice, racism. Even the recent legalization of recreational marijuana has a spot in this comedic reflection.
One of the sketches sees a character going to the doctor for a sore throat. The doctor, noticing the body mass of his patient, orders him to lose weight as if the two things were remotely related.
“Is it warm or is it wet?” Is the question that a character in another scene sings to herself when sitting riding the subway. This hit a personal note as I too have a similar story. I was sitting in the train and throughout the journey I wondered what kind of holy liquid had my seat been blessed with. Unfortunately for me it wasn’t water, soda, or anything you drink.
Who doesn’t enjoy the email virtual assistant that makes suggestions and cuts out time and typos? However, in another routine the virtual assistant takes it too far, reading the comedian’s mind and finishing the sentences for him. It’s rather unsettling to know that Google can second guess you so much.
The stress of condo buying is a huge thing in Toronto. The character in question in one of the first sketches shows excitement about his new condo shouting “You know, I bought a condo!” Sadly, in a later sketch, he comes to the realization that he can’t afford it. Housing affordability is a sore spot for many Torontonians.
One of the most exhilarating scenes has the whole troupe debate while crucial words are left unsaid in an effort to avoid confrontation and make the interaction gender and racially neutral. However, minds speak for themselves and can’t help thinking thoughts that make us cringe to say the least.
A love cycling story in Toronto could not be missed. Boy meets girl and together cycle their way to his place to the tune of “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship. The cycling part is mimed and by the cyclists’ body language and gestures, we guess that the crazy drivers around are not making their trip an easy one.
A sketch set in a sauna features the two female protagonists in a I-show-you-mine-you-show-me-yours moment. By the end of it, they come to the conclusion that their vaginas are nice looking, which they both find reassuring and uplifting.
Probably one of my favourite scenes brings up the recent legalization of recreational marijuana. The protagonist is in prison for possession of a substance that is now perfectly legal and that everyone else in the country is freely enjoying. Singing to a reggae lilt, he tells the racially charged story of a black male in prison for an offence that is not an offence anymore.
Cultural divides is the theme of another hilarious routine where a Muslim and a Jewish fathers express their deep unhappiness about their son and daughter dating each other. They claim cultural difference, while they sound and gesture the same. Even the moustache makes them look alike.
Walking on Bombshells will make you laugh. It certainly blew the roof off on its opening night. Just a word of caution. You will be judging the show as much as the cast will be judging you. Because there are all kinds of laughs and not all laughs are created equal.