Montreal's Just for Laughs Showcase at the Brea Improv
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The last date listed for Just For Laughs Showcase was Wednesday May 21, 2008 / 8:30pm.
Twenty-five years ago, Gilbert Rozon had a simple idea. He wanted to put together, under one roof, the people who liked to laugh with the people who made them laugh.
On July 14, 1983, he unleashed that idea onto the Montreal cultural scene in the form of a festival. A festival that was just for fun, just for entertainment and most important, Just For Laughs (or as it is known in French, “Juste pour rire”). For four days, 16 francophone artists gave 35 shows in four venues across Montreal, before a total crowd of about 5000 people. Twenty years later, over 2000 artists from around the world perform before 1.7 million spectators every summer, in more than 25 venues and along St. Denis Street. Shows are broadcast on television internationally to millions of viewers. But the real success of the Juste pour rire/Just For Laughs Festival is not reflected in the numbers, but in its philosophy. The Festival’s mandate is to spread the idea amongst the collective conscience of its audience that humor, although presented in a similar fashion in content and form year after year, can be reinvented. It can stimulate its artists to provoke laughter in a daring manner that can and does go beyond the limits of the imagination.