JFL42 Cameron Esposito Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, September 18

JFL42 Cameron Esposito Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, September 18
Rising star Cameron Esposito burst onto the Comedy Bar stage full of energy and pierogies, ready to smash our tentative Canadian reluctance with the boisterous power of her personality. She opened by addressing what, to a more conservative American audience, would surely be the side-mulleted elephant in the room: Esposito likes the ladies.

"I didn't choose my sexuality," she says. "I did choose how I look — this vest is not a coincidence fellas." Sexual orientation was a running theme throughout her set, from the complications of her current dating life to her confusion growing up in the suburbs of Chicago with no knowledge of what a gay person was. It would have been helpful for young Esposito running around in a coonskin cap to have some explain to her, "Look, Davey Crockett, there might be a reason for all this!"

Like many American comics performing in Canada for one of the first times, Esposito struggled a bit to find where our cultural Venn diagrams overlap, what will work with Canadian comedy fans and what won't, which resulted in a bit of a mid-set dip in energy and focus. But the reception to some great storytelling helped guide her further in that direction, which led to a hilarious story involving her South African girlfriend, an island of penguins, and a topless hug from Kristanna Loken: the Terminatrix herself. ("How do you hug someone you own as an action figure?")

Esposito is an incredible burst of loud comic energy who'll grow ever more comfortable once she gets to see more of Toronto than her hotel and the two comedy clubs she'd performed in so far.