Review: Amigas Cheetas (Theatre Centre)

photo of Amigas Cheetahs performersEclectic comedy show delivers big laughs in Toronto

Amigas Cheetahs is a stand-up comedy show at Toronto’s Theatre Centre that’s part of a 5-day festival Comedy Is Art. Showcased are comedians who are LGBTQIA2+ and people of colour, and they are non-stop, laugh-out-loud funny.

The show begins with the two hosts dancing, and it sets the tone for a funny, expressive evening. While Brandon Ash-Mohammed and Ben Sosa Wright don’t have all their steps in sync, they make up for it by letting us in on the challenges of rehearsal.

Opening laughs involved making fun of late-comers to the show, and for a moment I was worried about the show being just never-ending jabs at the audience. The show picked up in energy after Ash-Mohammed demonstrated how he himself would enter the theatre as a late-comer and he made an entrance that involved him doing the splits with glory and flourish.

The momentum continued to build with Greg Brown, a scientist who runs a YouTube channel AsapSCIENCE. We learned of the ups and downs of being a gay science teacher. Keeping with the science theme, he did a live experiment that involved observing how contagious yawns are, and he ended up getting tons of laughs, but no yawns.

Hoodo Hersin was very funny as well, especially when sharing her experiences about wearing a hijab. What got the audience laughing the most was her comments on how some people think that hijab-wearing women and turban-wearing men traditionally form couples.

Cat McCormick opened up her act with a self-deprecating take on non-binary pronouns when they refer to herself. Her grandest moment involved warning about the consequences of a married couple inviting her to participate in a sexual encounter.

Coko & Daphney form a dynamic duo whose final sketch about a call centre was entertaining and well-written, capturing elements of their previous stories, such as a reference to a text conversation that took place in a different sketch.

Andrew Johnston’s highlight story was about taking a yoga class and having a child star, now a young adult, do yoga on the mat beside him. The celebrity’s commentaries and “fake exits” were hilarious.

In Amigas Cheetahs, sexual orientation, the federal election, climate change, and racism all made appearances as themes, along with shopping at Sephora and identifying TV show music.

Comedy Is Art is a festival that celebrates comedy as an art form that in turn deserves funding. The Theatre Centre put on eight shows in total, inspired by the advocacy of Sandra Battaglini, co-founder of the Canadian Association of Stand-Up Comedians. The performers I saw were all bold, observant and original artists who deserve recognition and support. Next time I see any of these names again, I’ll bring more friends.

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Photo taken from Facebook page. Clockwise from top left: Ben Sosa Wright, Greg Brown, Hoodo Hersi, Brandon Ash-Mohammed, Cat McCormick, Coko & Daphney and Andrew Johnston

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