MONTREAL — First, a confession: before the show kicked off, I had no idea who Eric Stonestreet was. This is ignorance bred by poorness – there is no network or cable TV in my household, so shows like Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory (more on that in a following post) are as alien to me as the short-lived Aliens in the Family was to America.
Ok, now that we’ve gotten that unpleasantness out of the way, let’s get on with the show. And what a show it was. The Modern Love Gala, or the Relationship Show, wasn’t really so much about the mechanics of personal relationships as it was about the comedians and their long-standing relationship with the fans. Sounds cheesy, but like the Vegas-esque theatrics that populated the show’s aesthetic backbone, sometimes cheesy can be beautiful in its ability to add pomp and circumstance to what could otherwise wind up a mundane comedy experience.
Such was the case with the Modern Love show, which brought together the individual talents of Robert Kelly, Bob Marley, Fiona O’Loughlin, Tim Minchin, Debra DiGiovanni, Russell Kane, and Sebastian Maniscalco. Rapping on their dating lives, the perils of marriage, children and family, as well as destructive relationships with food (in Kelly’s case, at least), the comics all brought their best work to the table and held the crowd in the palms of their hands, frequently inciting the audience to strike its own palms together. (Get it?!)
The fancy sets and rotation prop apparatuses and hooker-y looking chorus girls filled out the show to stunning visual effect. But it was the strength of the comedy that really drove home the memorability of the gala. From Stonestreet’s deft hosting nuances to Kelly’s righteous anger to DiGiovanni’s recollection of her cougar aspirations, love was certainly in the air of the Place des Arts auditorium.