Theatre Review: Hot Doctors in Love

This entry is crossposted with blogTO.

Of all the various television templates created by man to variously entertain and sell advertising, few are more intolerable than the medical drama. With the exception of House, these shows are the broadcast equivalent of smashing yourself repeatedly in the face with a hammer, because it feels so good when you stop.

So imagine my delight when I heard the Bad Dog Theatre- Toronto's source for low-budget, gonzo comedy- was doing an improvised send-up of this hated genre. And Hot Doctors in Love doesn't just roast medical drama. The cast of this entertaining show immolates it, leaving nothing but comedic gold in their wake.

Hot Doctors in Love follows the lives, loves and lies of the lusty doctors at County Mercy General Hospital. Lovers are betrayed. Indecent proposals are made. Secrets are revealed. But mostly, a bunch of very good improvisers do very funny things. While there is apparently a pre-devised structure to the story, the scenes and dialogue are all spontaneous. So, the action often goes off in pretty surprising directions.

Hot Doctors features some top-drawer comedic talent, including James Gangl, Alastair Forbes, Rica Eckersley and Kris Siddiqi. For the most part, this high-watt cast doesn't disappoint. And with Bad Dog stalwart Ralph Macleod directing the action, the whole thing clips along nicely.

Occassionally, the improvisers appear to struggle to fit their behaviour into the planned story. And like all improv, things can stall or fall a little flat. But given the sheer talent on display, even the worse scenes come off with some genuine laughs. An hour of consistently funny material is a hard thing to accomplish. To its credit. Hot Doctors in Love manages to pull off a very funny show that rarely stumbles and frequently excels. And it's a damn sight better than Grey's Anatomy.

Hot Doctors in Love continues at the Bad Dog Theatre every Friday night until Nov. 28. For tickets and info, visit baddogtheatre.com or call 416 491 3115.