Presented by: Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed: 20 June 2018
Wayne Brady is an American comedian, singer, actor and TV host. From talk shows, comedy sketch series and films, he has done it all. A ‘Jack of all trades’ in every sense of the word, his skills has seen him win several Emmy Awards and a coveted Tony Award. To achieve all that takes some doing and he has reached great heights in popularity in his home nation. Admittedly his fame hasn’t reached this writer as I went into his show Wayne Brady – Brady AF with a complete fresh slant. It was obvious though that most of the audience at the Festival Theatre for his show knew exactly who he was. I needn’t have worried about warming to his persona as he immediately captured my attention with his multi-talented abilities.
Promising an evening of highly improvised comedy, Wayne Brady delivered what was said on the posters. Effectively utilising his performance skills, the ninety minute production was a great showcase for his talents. Whilst Brady was unknown to me, he was clearly very popular with the mainly young audience. Given we now live in an era of attention-seeking social media and the like, there was an abundance of willing volunteers keen to strut their stuff on stage. The show heavily relied on audience participation and Brady’s interaction with his admirers was excellent. From turning people into houses, planes and all sorts of objects, their physical contortions were just as amusing as the verbal ones. Aided by a fellow comedian and keyboard player, Brady knew how to whip up the crowd with genuine mirth without belittling anyone.
Kudos also goes to the sound and lighting people who generated the atmosphere perfectly. Performing pieces charting the lives of a few of the audience to mind-twisting word games, the surface additions were as interesting as the show itself. Whilst some of the participants seemed to over-play their on-stage roles, most went along with the antics with authenticity. Brady also has a superb singing voice which was used for various salacious tunes too wicked to mention here. Adelaide and other things starting with A got a mention with Brady’s clever wordsmith skills seen in full flight. The roar of approval at show’s end cemented the evening’s fun with Brady never taking himself too seriously which the audience responded to.
Unknown to me before the show, Wayne Brady is a talent worthy of further inspection. He obviously has a multitude of fans with his fast-speaking and moving ways keeping him in a wave of popularity. Speaking and forming sentences has never been as funny with the energy levels ramped up until the furiously funny finale.
Reviewed by: Patrick Moore
Rating out of 5: 4
One Night Only – Season ended