Sammy J wants to open a theme park; somewhere that offers good, clean family fun, with a petting zoo, puppets, and a little tent for him to do shows. Maybe he should have picked someone other than Randy as his foreman; Randy’s idea of “petting zoo” is raptors, the Ferris Wheel’ll probably kill you, and there’s a chance you’ll get fingered on the ghost train. After Randy is involved in a fatal accident during a classic sawing-the-lady-in-half trick gone horribly wrong, we’re flashed back to the very beginning of the Rise and Fall of Sammy J & Randy Land. Keep your arms inside the vehicle at all times, there will be no refund on tickets.
Fans of Mr J and Feltface known exactly what to expect. Unsuspecting newcomers, be warned that despite the circus attire and presence of a puppet, this is far from light hearted frivolity; things are going to get dark very, very quickly. It’s a quirky mixture of shtick, songs, puppets performing puppetry, and the occasional groan-out-loud gag. My favourite “bit” involved Sammy J’s trip to the bank, prospectus in hand, to secure finances for the park; things spiral into hilarity very quickly [Note: we discussed this scene in a roundabout way in my earlier interview with the pair].
Although the show is rated for 13+, the 9:30 start puts one in mind – deservedly so! – of the television “watershed”; there’s just some comedy you can’t perform before 9pm! If you want to take the kids to see that skinny virgin and the funny purple puppet, you may want to take a moment to very quickly cover their ears at some points. That said, they’ve probably heard worse on the playground.
So come one, come all! Just … get a decent life insurance policy first.
Sammy J & Randy in Sammy J & Randy Land is at the Athenaeum Theatre Tuesday – Saturday at 9:30, Sunday at 8:30 until April 3, THEN Tuesday – Saturday at 7:00 (too early!), Sunday at 6:00 (even worse!) April 12 – 17. Prices $30 – $42.