A&E » Arts

Mammoth mammaries larger than life



Shows topic a hit with men and women

By Shelley Arnusch

What: Mardi Bra

Where: The Cinnamon Bear in the Delta Whistler Resort

When: Friday, Sept. 19 and Saturday Sept. 20., 9 p.m.

There will be some interesting characters circulating around town this weekend for the Whistler comedy festival, but two in particular are truly larger than life.

Toronto actor/comics Renee Percy and Jen Radomsky are given star billing for their show Mardi Bra, a sketch comedy export from this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. But both have had to learn to live in the shadow of their show-stopping cast members.

"We have big seven-foot boobs," says Radomsky. "At curtain call, we step back and gesture to the boobs and they get a bigger round of applause than we do."

A tough break that any woman more than understands.

Of course, Radomsky is good-natured about the whole situation. Both her and Percy admit their most successful guerrilla marketing technique at the Toronto Fringe was simply to tell potential show goers that their act would feature the mammoth mammaries. Intrigued audiences were, in turn, treated to a wacky, witty collection of sketches laced with a touch of the absurd.

Contrary to what one might expect from a show written, created and performed by two women and touching on subject matter weighed down by the heavy baggage of beauty myths and body image, the creators insist they are not out to indoctrinate their audiences with a militant feminist agenda. Both confirm the easy-going tone of the act has won them fans from both genders.

"It wasn’t a pre-meditated thing, that we were going to make this statement on women’s issues in the world," says Percy. "We just thought, ‘boobs are funny, let’s write about them and see what happens.’ Men like them; women are obsessed with them. Everyone loves boobs."

"The sketches do touch on different types of women, and different types of self esteem issues, but it probably just came out because it’s two women writing a show about the sorts of things that matter to us. Apparently, by our audiences’ reactions, it seems to matter to everybody."

And Percy admits the silliness of the show provides some much-needed comic relief. "You’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself," she says. "The media and society puts so much pressure on people to be a certain way, and people get so caught up in it, that sometimes you have to be able to step back and laugh at how ridiculous it all is."

Regardless of how long they will continue touring the show, it’s hard to believe the creators, who met on the set of a children’s show in Florida, will call it quits as a team. Even over the phone, their chemistry is infectious.

"Jen is five-feet-eight-inches of pure hilarity," says Percy. "She’s an awesome girl and she’s amazing to work with."

"People will come up to us and say: "you two together, you really have something," confirms Radomsky.

Rather like two peas in a pod, or two seven-foot breasts in a Mardi Bra.

Mardi Bra, part of Comedy in the Sky, the Whistler comedy festival, plays tonight and Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Cinnamon Bear in the Delta Whistler Resort. Show starts 9 p.m. Tickets are $14 at the door or in advance through Tourism Whistler. Call 604-938-2769 or check out www.comedyinthesky.ca for more information.