• James Parry

Parrywinkle, February 8, 2018


Laughing in the school library while finalizing plans for a Comedy Night at Mount Pleasant Elementary School in Hudson, Friday, February 16, are (from left to right) Geneviève Bagdian, Cristina Capela, Amanda Sly-Farrell, Lisa Livingstone, Sarah MacPherson, and Megan Osler.

OK dear readers, let's face it. Local politics, gripes and grumbles, the weather, snow clearing or lack of it, and Trump tantrums apart, I do believe to parryphrase the Bard that during this continuing winter of our discontent, we are all in need of a good laugh. Which is why my beautiful Sunshine and I will be heading over to Mount Pleasant Elementary School in Hudson Friday, February 16. Why?

Well, because in what promises to be a most pleasant and fun-filled evening and in what will be the first of its kind at the 250-student school, a whole bunch of comedians will be on stage raising funds to help transform the existing library into a truly 21st Century facility for the 250 students there for years to come. Intrigued? Then read on Macduff!


FUN WITHOUT THE KIDS – I caught up with school Principal Mark Massarelli, and some of the organizers earlier this week and this is what I learned.

Said co-organizer, Amanda Sly, “It's an idea that has been floating around for a few years now, but it was actually Mark - who joined us a year ago after leaving Wilder Penfield School in Dollard des Ormeaux - that encouraged us to go along with it as he has seen it to be very successful in other schools and he knew a great MC, Neil Janna, a veteran of 14 Just For Laughs Festivals to date.”

Added Amanda, who has worked closely on the project with Home and School co-presidents, Cristina Capela and Sarah MacPherson, for the past four months including seeking donations and prizes for a raffle, “We thought it would be a great event for parents to enjoy a night out without the kids. And, after all, who doesn't love a good laugh? We actually worked with Neil on another fundraising event involving T-shirts, and he gave me more details about a comedy night, how they are usually quite successful, and so we decided to take the leap and try it out.”

So what is the format of the evening? Doors will open at 7:15 p.m., the show will start at 8 p.m., and there will be intermission with a half-and-half draw. Oh yes, did I also mention that there will be a bar on site and a complimentary alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink and light snacks will be included in the price of admission which is only $25?


ONE FOR THE BOOKS - As for the participating comedians accompanying Neil, the headliner is Gino Durante, a regular at the Comedy Nest in Montreal and recently named 'Comic to Watch' by the Montreal Gazette. And joining him will be Kevin Gasior, who can be heard regularly on XM Radio's Laugh Attack and CBC's All in a Weekend, as well as Paul Baluyot who was chosen in 2017 for the Montreal Show in the Off-JFL Zoofest and the outdoor stage of the Just For Laughs Festival.

Says school principal Mark, “It really is a fantastic lineup and I am so fortunate to be serving this community of parents who have been very welcoming and supportive. In fact, they have just donated $17,000 to the school to install new playground equipment this summer and are already moving towards our next project of renovating the library.

“Like me, they believe that libraries are not only places to house books but are places for inquiry, collaboration, engagement and creativity and we will be setting up a versatile tiered amphitheatre as part of the school library as well as a place for tinkering and creating collaboratively.”

What a great initiative folks. Seriously! And whether your youngsters attend Mount Pleasant Elementary located at 97 Mount Pleasant or not, one well worth supporting in my book. For tickets or more info, contact Amanda Sly at sly@outlook.com or give her a buzz at (514) 799-5220. Hope to see you there.


YOU GOTTA LAUGH - Still in laughter mode; I overheard a couple of ladies of a certain age and obviously long-time friends bringing each other up to date over coffee at The Carousel this past week. Confided one in a whisper, “I'm having an affair.” Asked the other, “Are you having it catered?”

And this just in. Evidently a reporter in Yorkshire, England was interviewing a 104-year-old woman on her birthday recently and asked her the obligatory question, “What do you think is the best thing about being 104?” Without skipping a beat, she replied, “No peer pressure!” Kaboom!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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