Head writer and director Carly Heffernan is bringing some girl power to Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival with She the People.
It’s a female cast sketch comedy show featuring Second City alumnus. As they say it’s a girlfriend’s guide to sisters doing it for themselves.
Roving Ron Roxtar speaks with Carly Heffernan. Find out why you will be entertained by ‘She the People’ and laugh your face off.
Roxtar: Hello Carly, congratulations on coming up to Just For Laughs. Is it your first time here? Carly: Yeah! Thank you. For this show, it is our first time so we are so honored. Although a few of us have been down there individually.
Roxtar: I believe you girls just won an award.
Carly: Yes! We just won the Canadian Comedy Award for the best live ensemble. We are so happy about that. it just goes to validate all the hard work we’ve all put into the show. I’m so happy and proud of them.
Roxtar: What was the genesis of this particular show?
Carly: Full credit goes to Andrew Alexander who came up with the idea for this new live sketch review. I think he was feeling a wave of female empowerment in the air at the time. It was just before the whole Metoo movement began.
He reached out me since I had just finished directing my first stage review. It had a lot of satirical female material within it. So I seemed like a good match. I popped over to Chicago, we got another writer and came up with a ton of material. You couldn’t stop us from writing. We worked on it until we found we had the best of the best. Then we got the first show going to Second City in Chicago. It was a wild and very fun time.
Roxtar: Carly, I read you were a comedian yourself
Carly: Yes. Thank you so much for recognizing that. I’m an alumni of the Second City in Toronto, writing and performing in revues here. I was primarily an actor but through the whole process, I just fell in love with writing and have been predominantly doing that since about 2012.
Roxtar: So tell us about the current cast for She the People. Carly: We have an all Canadian cast which is so cool. They are made up of five Second City alumnus so I was really familiar with their talent and skill set. There were certain roles that were just screaming to be played by certain people like Ashley Comeau, Karen Parker, Paloma Nuñez or Kirsten Rasmussen. There was a certain role that just had to be played by Ann Pornel. That was really amazing to be able to attach these talents to these roles. Aside from the five Second City alumnus we have someone fairly new to us that is Tricia Black and that was a great call. She is someone who has really taken the comedy world by storm.
Roxtar: So what exactly can the audience expect from this show?
Carly: Expect to laugh your whole face off. That is expectation number one. Then expect to be moved. There are moments where you will literally move forward in your seat and feel things in your heart which is a cool thing to do. There’s going to be things that will make you think. You’ll have compassion or empathy for certain characters.
We have some amazing songs. I don’t think people think about that when they come to a sketch comedy show. With the songs, we have some choreography.
There is even some improv going on as well. A lot of people don’t expect that from this kind of show. This is very unique to a Second City show. If you come to see it you just might be asked to be a part of the show yourself. So it is quite a spectacle, to be honest.
Roxtar: That sounds great and a lot of fun and so much involvement.
Carly: You know it takes a village, right? We have such great people even working behind the scenes that the audience never sees and full credit goes to our amazing stage manager, Meg Maguire, and our musical director Nicole Byblow. For this particular Just For Laughs show, she gets to be on stage with everyone.
Roxtar: It’s time for this year’s question of the fest. I had great success with last year’s question so I’m going to keep it the same. Carly, what is your favorite comedy film of all time.
Carly: Oh, I love it! I’ve been asked a lot of questions about TV lately so I’m glad this one is about film. Okay, my favorite comedy film of all the would have to be… (thinking) this is s hard for me because there are certain films I find funny which really aren’t comedy.
I love Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. It’s so campy, so terrible, that I find it hilarious. There’s also Top Secret a movie from the ’80s with Val Kilmer. If you look at that film it has more jokes per minute than any film I know of. It takes a lot of talent to come up with that much material. It’s so hilarious. Do you know this film?
Roxtar: Yeah I know it well. I hosted a Q & A session with the film’s director David Zucker.
Carly: No way! That is very cool. Six degrees of separation. Move over Kevin Bacon it’s all about Ron (laughing).
Roxtar: Carly, this is such a great talk and I look forward to hopefully seeing you along with She the People at the festival.
Carly: I loved talking to you too. It was great. Make sure to come out and see us and we’ll pull you up on stage.
Roxtar: I look forward to it.
Carly: Me too. Thanks so much and see you there.
Make sure to get your tickets for She the People at this year’s Montreal Just For Laughs by clicking on the following link She The People
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