Article Title:A comedy banquet
Category:Performance
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:1st May 2014 - 02:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
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Story ID:14994
Text:If you’ve ever wondered whether you can get a headache from laughing, a lot, my wife and I last night proved that you can, by possibly biting off more comedy than we could chew in a multi-course night out featuring gay wits Stephen K Amos, Urzila Carlson and silver-voiced newcomer Becky Crouch. Go see him: Stephen K Amos Unfortunately for the food analogy, Stephen K Amos could never be classed an entrée. That is unless you are talking about the confusing American definition where it’s a main course. The British master had a solid crowd for a Wednesday night at the Rangatira at Q Theatre, and he was in a good mood, having fun with the audience with brilliant off the cuff interaction, accents and quips. He was utterly boggled when he made a joke about meat raffles in England’s north, only to find out after the gaping confused silence that meat raffles were in fact pretty common in New Zealand too. Somehow, in his hands, the whole concept of a meat raffle seemed bizarre. Why do we raffle meat? While our jaws were already beginning to hurt from laughing too much, the gay comedian also interlaced his anecdotes with plenty of serious moments, where you could hear a pin drop. Especially when we heard that he’d lost a friend to a homophobic hate bashing in London. While he’s not the type of comedian who comes out and says “I’m gay” waving a giant virtual rainbow flag, Amos touches on his sexuality plenty and brings LOTS of innuendo into his shows, which is pretty fun in a mostly-straight audience. However, it was kind of awkward when he was discussing being defined by your sexuality, and asked heterosexual people in the audience to clap, then for gay people to … we were among about maybe four gay people who did … and the happy proud clap became a wide-eyed slow clap as people stared at us … but the mood in the room was lightened when he asked for any bisexuals to clap and one girl screamed piercingly “meeee!” The audience heard about how he’d been broken up with, after a FOUR YEAR RELATIONSHIP, via a text, as he wondered about the destroyer of personal communication modern technology has become. And how the break-up came as Adele’s heart-rending songs were everywhere – he’s not a fan as a result, to put it lightly. Amos is not only funny, he also brings a lovely touch of wisdom to his shows, and you should really get along to one before he wraps up. Oh and good news Wellington – he’s in town on Sunday. Always brilliant: Urzila Carlson After a mini-break spent snaking awkwardly through the burgeoning Q Theatre lobby crowd, and back again, we popped back into the Rangatira again for as much as we could of the Creeping Charlie Comedy Showcase. The management label represents a number of local comedians, including our unabashed favourite Urzila Carlson, who hosted the night. Moving up to the short-people-heaven side of the theatre seats, we got to watch the crowd eat out of Carlson’s hand, as usual, through her ‘housekeeping’ routine to ‘just go home’ if there is an emergency, not assemble at some pole. Although, upon reflection eating out of her hand might not be the right way to phrase it considering her line about the hands of lesbian firefighters … *wolf whistle* The moment of the night (well, the half we saw) came when Carlson told people to look out if there was an emergency, as she’d do anything to get out of the theatre. “You don’t want me on your back!” she cried, to which a super fan (or possible stalker) below us screamed “yes I do! I do!” Carlson pointed out that while she wasn’t an expert, that wasn’t really the right way to do, ah, ‘it’. Anyway, if we tell too many of her jokes for her Carlson will probably hunt us down and kill us (and we’re not that hard to find), so why not just hurry and get tickets to her solo shows before they sell out (they nearly are). You can do that here for Wellington and here for Auckland. Buzz-worthy: Becky Crouch Our final stop was in something of a bunker beneath the Q Theatre complex which has been fashioned as Luna Theatre for the festival, where plenty of up-and-comers have the chance to impress, in the tough comedy atmosphere of a small audience. It was here that we checked out for the first time buzz-worthy emerging gay comedian Becky Crouch as the third part of group show The Rule of Three. While we had to sit through a couple of other new comedians first, they each had their diverse moments of oddball hilarity in a truly no-boundaries show (A note though: don’t go along if you are easily offended). Crouch has a life story which could be a tragedy, but she’s made into a comedy. She grew up straight-laced Christian, fell for a girl, the rest is Sapphic history. Her opening cracks about, ah, attire certainly not fit for church and how she hopes her parents’ homophobia is just a phase, were comedy magic and a great gimmick. However it was when she, um, strapped on her guitar and launched into the song which has so far made her $6 on iTunes, It’s Cool to be Gay (see the video below), that the second level of her talent was unleashed. The girl can sing. And in such a honeyed way that it makes her comic songs seem incredibly sweet, even with their outlandish lyrics. The juxtaposition is something that truly works. While some of her other routines hit a few too-easy comedy targets, she remained captivating and there was plenty on display to love, especially her final ‘song’ for Walking Dead enthusiasts, a moment of hilarious brilliance to this wife of an avid fan who just doesn’t get it. My wife does get it, and she loved it too. So, with our jaws sore and our heads starting to pound from a comedy gorge, we walked away with the firm impression that Becky Crouch is kinda dorky and totally endearing, with a crass touch and some mighty fine pipes – and yup, she’s one to watch. (We'd tell you to go buy some tickets, but we just looked and there are TWO left. But never fear, we'll let you know when she's on stage next!)   Jacqui Stanford - 1st May 2014    
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