David Farrier - 3news.co.nz'Reginald D Hunter strode onto stage beaming. The dreadlocked African-American from Georgia told us he's never been to New Zealand before. He was warm, charming, and utterly captivating. His voice – oh, what a voice...'open/close
The comedy gala is like going to a great big buffet with your family.
You all sit down at Valentines and pay a set fee, before stuffing your faces into oblivion.
After you've done dinner you take a wee break, before stuffing your faces with all the desserts with all the toppings.
You leave feeling bloated and ruined, remembering the good moments… and the bits you wish you'd never eaten.
From what I can remember of last night, it all lasted about three hours. It was a big meal.
Taking us through the festivities was Ireland's Jason Bryne – who literally swung into stage on a giant wrecking ball - whilst that song we all hate blasted from the speakers.
Instantly charming, his voice won us over, as did his high-energy comedy.
Whether he was getting stuck into three hapless audience members dragged on stage (he mercilessly mocked our Kiwi twang), or simply trying to get events moving along, his individual show will no doubt be a huge hit.
Like the buffet thing , the night turned into a huge blur.
But there were two standout international performers who really shone.
Reginald D Hunter strode onto stage beaming. The dreadlocked African-American from Georgia told us he's never been to New Zealand before. He was warm, charming, and utterly captivating.
His voice – oh, what a voice.
He launched into a stunning breakdown of the Oscar Pistorius case, and the possibilities of what went down that fateful night.
It was the funniest six minutes of the night, with nothing off limits. As he looked at the logic of the case, a huge and smart sense of humour emerged – and I am absolutely gagging to see his entire show.
The other man who stunned was Tom Binns. He was on stage in character as Ian D Montfort, a psychic comedian.
Montfort appeared at first to be mocking psychics and what they do – before stunning the audience with his own apparent psychic abilities.
An older lady in front of me turned to me laughing, her face then contorting into horror and confusion, as Montfort somehow managed to dish out intimate details about several audience members.
Other standouts on the night? There were plenty. Australian Sam Simmons was the spitting image of Arrested Development's Tobias Funke, and had an amazing routine involving a shopping basket full of bread.
Kiwi Rose Matafeo was wonderfully awkward and surreal. It's been said before, but somebody give that girl her own TV show. Hell, she needs to move to LA where her disconnected, disorientated ways will be fully appreciated.
Quietly spoken James Acaster was great as always – giving us an utterly absurd history lesson in Spanish music, and Sara Pascoe was transfixing and hilarious.
Rhys Darby closed the night with a slick bit of comedy involving pickpocketing. His natural sense of timing and physical comedy combined together in a really sublime way.
Were there duds in the line-up? Of course. But it's comedy, and my duds were probably someone else's delight.
Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Review-Comedy-Gala-2014/tabid/418/articleID/341534/Default.aspx
Ingrid Grenar - KeepingupwithNZ.com'4 Stars - Kind of like a mass speed audition where some of the big acts at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival get a chance to woo prospective audiences, the three hours show really packs it in...'open/close
The 2014 Old Mout Cider Comedy Gala was hosted by Irish comedian Jason Byrne, who will no doubt hold the title for best show entrance of 2014! Byrne brought his own personal brand of chaos to the Gala making him an enjoyable, slightly anarchic host. This unpredictability spilled out to the audience as he interacted with them freely and even plucked some victims out the crowd to join him on stage resulting in what can only be described as as a human xylophone.
20 comedians performed during this comedy marathon. There were many familiar NZ faces. Last years Billy T winner Rose Matefeo dropped some quirky impressions including the sound of a vibrating phone. TV regulars Guy Williams , Paul Ego, Ben Hurley and Urzila Carlson also were crowd pleasers who will no doubt have very popular shows at the festival. Nick Rado managed to make a successful routine around a fart joke and Jamie Bowen’s ‘life is a series of boxes’ was a clever observation. One of my favourite homegrown performance (and outfit) came from James Nokise whose modern music mocking and ‘real RnB lyrics’ were genius.
Reginald D Hunter delivered some hilarious and controversial stuff!
The Brits where in full force last night. kicking off the show was John Gordillo, whose impersonation of his shouty Spaniard father truly entertained. Sara Pascoe won the crowd over and left them wanting more with her explanation for arachnophobia and the frustrations of her sex life. 2013′s Best International Act winner Tom Binns brought back Psychic Ian D Montfort to do some readings on the crowd, which were both hilarious and impressive. The joy that is Marcel Lucont oozed some cool into the proceedings while brilliantly mocking Australia Day celebrations. Festival fav Stephen K Amos is so at home on stage that he is a comedian you know will always deliver. He told two funny anecdotes during his short set. A great teaser for his festival show.
This year’s standout Gala newcomer was Carl Donnelly, whose breakfast mishaps with a crumpet was one of the most memorable routines of the night. James Acaster returned after a triumphant 2013 festival, and was equally well received as he steered the audience around the complex musings of a Mariachi fan.
Aussie Sam Simmons took the chaos crown away from Byrne for a few minutes for his crowd pleasing bread based routine. UK based Kiwi Jarred Christmas ended the first half with a well constructed condensed mini routine covering intros, visuals and issues. Boom!
Steve Hughes was as edgy as ever mentioning the Malaysia Airlines flight, and got some big laughs for his rant on his lack of patience for people with allergies. His brutal honesty is refreshing and will lead many to want to buy tickets to hear more. The most controversial routine of the night came from US/UK comedian Reginald D Hunter, who is making his New Zealand Debut. His cool exterior allowed him to deliver material on the Oscar Pistorius trial that was jar dropping and brilliant.
Closing the show was Rhys Darby who showed off those legs again (see Short Poppies) for a great physical balletic routine on the battle against the pickpocket. A perfect Kiwi finale from one of the countries biggest stars.
You can see the highlights of the Old Mout Cider Gala on TV3 at 8.30pm.
Read more: http://keepingupwithnz.com/2014/04/25/old-mout-cider-comedy-gala-the-civic-theatre/
Jacqui Stanford - GayNZ.com' Kind of like a mass speed audition where some of the big acts at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival get a chance to woo prospective audiences, the three hours show really packs it in...'open/close
There seemed to be running themes of jokes about gays and bums at the Comedy Gala. But, thankfully, not together. In fact the gay community was far from the butt of the jokes, as a couple of straight comedians made fun of homophobes and offered some wicked comebacks – and a couple of gay favourites strutted their stuff.
Kind of like a mass speed audition where some of the big acts at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival get a chance to woo prospective audiences, the three hours show really packs it in.
The bum jokes started with Irish comedian Jason Byrne, who had a bit about itchy bums which went on through the whole show, and no doubt had a few people wiggling in their seats. Rhys Darby got in on the act too, with a bit about skinny jeans which was butt-heavy.
But arses aside, the Gala was also punctuated by something akin to a gay rights revival. With marriage equality fresh in the UK, John Gordillo had the audience in stitches explaining how he explained that a married gay couple was coming to dinner to his rather conservative Spanish father. That was topped off by Kiwi living in the UK, Jarred Christmas, brilliantly re-enacting the dressing down he gave to a homophobic former classmate.
As for the gay act themselves, Urzila Carlson had the crowd in the palm of her hand in her all too short four minutes on stage, with a quick taste of her latest show Poise Control, which is a likely sell out once more. Steven K Amos and his smooth deadpan style was another highlight of the gala, with a final punchline which will have gay men nodding and giggling in amused agreement.
The saucy Marcel Lucont was a stand-out, with his hilariously French wine-sipping smooth take on the world, and the UK’s Sara Pascoe proved she is really one to watch with a Russell Brand-like irreverence.
The Comedy Gala screens on TV3 on Monday night at 8.30PM so you can check it out for yourself.
There is also a delicious glut of glbti-interest shows in the festival once again. Carlson and Amos are of course doing solo shows, as is comedy luminary Julian Clary.
Gay favourite Penny Ashton is bringing Austen to the festival with Promise and Promiscuity and fresh faced comedian to watch Eli Matthewson has a show called ‘Big Audition’, Up-and-comer Becky Crouch, one of the standouts of last year’s Raw Comedy Quest, is in a group show Rule of Three.
The Raw Comedy Quest is also one to watch, with gay Christchurch wit Thane Pullan in the finals – as is the one and only Suzanne Paul!
Read more: http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/22/article_14969.php