Cracker International Comedy Showcase

SKY CITY Theatre, Auckland

05/05/2009 - 09/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

Featuring Jeremy Hotz, Sugar Sammy, Andrew Stanley and Tony Woods

If you want a taste of the sweetest, juiciest, funniest stand-up on the block at the NZ International Comedy festival, the Cracker Showcase has a taste of everything and is bringing the international flavour home to the Sky City Theatre 5 – 9th May. Four  of the hottest performers will be in town to make you laugh, shiver, quiver, groan and squeal with pleasure as your laughing buds are truly satisfied.

Sugar Sammy performs in four languages (English, French, Punjabi and Hindi and critics worldwide are unanimous in their praise of his hilarious material and his laconic delivery. named him "Comedy’s New Rock Star", who also opened for Dave Chappelle, worked with George Lopez and Damon Wayans. A tour-de-force, Sugar Sammy stirs up and samples the multi-cultural melting pot with hilarious commentary on the contradictions of global society. Brilliantly entertaining with his views on arranged marriage, deviant sex, drugs and modern day relationships. Sugar Sammy will have you laughing, thinking, and seeing life in a whole new way!

Andrew Stanley is the always high energy and quick witted Irishman in hot demand, dazzling enough to keep audiences thoroughly entertained and begging for more. "a hugely energetic performance, literally bouncing around the stage and infusing the room with an infectious passion", Stanley’s penchant for interaction with the audience will have you swooning and crying out for more before he leaves the stage. Called "effervescent and upbeat…bursting with playful energy" by, this Irishman is plenty equipped enough to handle the laughs you’re sure to offer him.

If you ask Jeremy Hotz how to become a successful stand up comedian, he’ll likely tell you simply to fail at everything else and let the audience laugh at you while you do it. Jeremy’s astute observational comedy is smart and funny, just what you need to be to be successful in standup these days. Formerly a writer on the critically acclaimed Jon Stewart Show and a typical single guy, this supermarket and fashion-challenged comedy super-wit will have you in stitches with his every day aspirations and antics!

There’s no topic taboo or untouched when Tony is in town! Tony Woods’ playful and cool attitude belies his sharp wit and mischievous subject matter. Declared "their favourite comedy act ever!" by our favourite Aussies on The Footy Show – this comedy guru was once lined up for dental school! Instead of becoming a wealthy, depressed boring dentist, Tony Woods has inspired a long line of comedy greats including Dave Chappelle.

Absolutely one of a kind, he’ll take you for a walk on the wild side in this outrageous showcase of four of the best in the international comedy scene!

Venue:  SkyCity Theatre
When:  5-9th May, 7pm
Price:  $32.50/$26 with PREVIEW PRICE $25 (Tue 5 May)

1hr, no interval

Worth the air and carbon points they clock up

Review by Venus Stephens 06th May 2009

Comedy shows should have a harassment warning on the tickets, to read like this: "Do not sit within the 1st three rows of the stage. Doing so will result in hazardous use of your personal life being used as comic fodder".

Fortunately for myself, my seat allocation was far stage left, just far enough to remain safe. Tonight is my first ever International comedy showcase viewing, as I file into the theatre I smile at the perks of being a reviewer…my seat is perilously close to the front (Row D) but still ‘Secret squirrel’ enough to remain ‘anonymous’. The house lights are dimmed and out strolls our ‘Chuck Taylored’ (sneakered) host for the showcase Irishman Andrew Stanley.

He looks docile enough, that is until he opens his innocent looking chops and sprays his Uzi fast accent on the crowd…(this is where the ticket warning would’ve helped).

Wouldn’t you know it, a party of four front row centre is delectable pickings for all four comics who grace the stage. Better them than me.

Sugar Sammy, a Canadian Indian, is the first in the set; cheeky and attractive enough to register a wink he has a style that visits on the merits of being Indian and ‘their’ geographic takeover of Mt Roskill. Laughs, and offence (not from my quarter) come easy as he muses over the weighty cost of paying for a meal on a date  and the moral/financial cost of ‘maybe’ sex afterward. He settles the dilemma with a reasoning that has most of us in his favour (my apologies to the prudes).

Second comic up is American Tony Woods, he saunters out in a scarlet shirt that promotes his ebony skin tone. He has a saccharine voice that is wasted on the audience…the predominantly middleclass Caucasian crowd take grasp of his ‘brother’ type humour very slowly.  He garners a little crowd favour with a retelling of a recent trip to Australia and a curious meeting with some outback folk. I suspect Tony Woods would have been received better at a showcase aimed at the younger clique of comedy fest goers who enjoy popular music and are familiar with the ‘SHAFT…street’ vibe Tony has built his onstage persona with.

The hour long set is concluded with US comedian Jeremy Hotz who, through self deprecation, wins the audience with health issues and physical insecurities. He introduces himself with a quip about his nose ‘appearing like an elbow on his face’. Bland in his delivery, tonight’s patrons are so enthused by his ramblings of old age and height envy that he has certain success for the duration of the showcase over the next few nights.

All the performers this evening are worth the air and carbon points they clock up to perform in New Zealand. Showcases are an inexpensive way to see plum performances from the select worlds best comics. I’ve enjoyed myself tonight and suggest all you Comedy Fest first timers step out and see what you have been missing.
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