diane is a series of offbeat sketches, presented at The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, in which writer/performer Laura Ramoso explores the many Dianes that exist within her. Typing that out, it looks ridiculous, and her show is most certainly that, but it also makes a perfect kind of off-kilter sense as it unfolds.
And Ramoso is a master of comic physicality. In an entirely mimed bit, searching for a dress at a boutique becomes a magical and hilarious episode that is also, somehow, entirely relatable. She also employs cinematic music to great effect, giving some sketches an epic feel.
From a news anchor who internalizes the disasters she reports to a series of stand-up comics that awkwardly just tell us things, Ramoso takes the audience on a series of offbeat, neurotic journeys—mundane scenarios that gradually descend into absurdist daydreams. I didn’t always laugh, but I was captivated the entire time.
And there are some moments that are just so… endearingly strange. One of my favourites is a sketch that incorporates a series of theatre references—from Shakespeare to A Few Good Men—ending with a truly odd and hilarious riff on the Grease finale.