Wayne Brady: MAKING S%!T UP (US)

ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland

02/05/2009 - 02/05/2009

Wellington Town Hall, Wellington

04/05/2009 - 04/05/2009

James Hay Theatre, Christchurch

05/05/2009 - 05/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

He’s been often cited as the ‘nice guy’ of entertainment in the United States, but multi Emmy award winning Wayne Brady will have you gagging for laughter as he Makes S%!t Up from May 2nd as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival. 

The star of Whose Line Is It Anyway and Don’t Forget The Lyrics  is well known for his improvisational genius, unique musical talents and limitless impersonation skills. An extremely versatile entertainer, Brady’s show is structured in classic old-time Variety style, incorporating improv, singing and even dancing. 

Brady’s appeal is far reaching – from stage and screen to music and television. A three time Emmy award winner, talk show host, musician and actor, it was his works on Whose Line Is It Anyway that brought the lovable and playful Florida native to everyone’s attention. 

From that, the offers started flooding in – hosting talk show The Wayne Brady Show, taking to the stage in the Broadway production of Chicago as slick lawyer Billy Flynn, working alongside the likes of Drew Carey in The Drew Carey Show, Tina Fey in 30 Rock and Chris Rock in Everybody Hates Chris

Brady still found the time to pursue just one of the many strings to his bow – last year, he released his debut R&B album, the suitably named A Long Time Coming. Brady continues to combine his passion for music and television as the current host of Don’t Forget The Lyrics

He’s also remembered for putting his squeaky-clean image aside from one moment during an episode of Chappelle’s Show, the hit Comedy Central series and uttering the immortal line "Is Wayne Brady going to have to choke a b****?" 

Thankfully, the only choking will be from the laughter you can expect from someone who is essentially "the whole darn package." So why miss out?

"Irresistible improv humour" – LASVEGAS.COM

"Perfect comedy" – LAS VEGAS SUN

For more information on Wayne Brady visit www.waynebrady.com

Dates:  Saturday 2nd May – 8pm
Venue:  ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE
Bookings:  THE EDGE – 0800 BUYTICKETS (0800 289842) or www.buytickets.co.nz

Dates:  Monday 4th May
Venue:  Wellington Town Hall

Dates:  Tuesday 5th May
Venue:  James Hay Theatre
Bookings:  Wellington and Christchurch through TICKETEK –
0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385) or www.ticketek.co.nz  

Talented comic not at his best when serious

Review by Simon Sweetman 07th May 2009

Wayne Brady is known for his appearances on the improv-comedy TV show, Whose Line Is It Anyway? And, more recently, the singing contest, Don’t Forget The Lyrics.

Brady’s charisma and wholesome, mainstream appeal just might be the tickets to carry his version of musical comedy along past fads and phases; creating laughs for all from offbeat, quirky, but always universal ideas.

In his Making %@it Up show, Brady combines elements from Whose Line and Don’t Forget The Lyrics, using audience members to suggest song titles and styles; seeking volunteers to provide sound effects and work as movable props – with the onus on fun and participation, rather than any embarrassment and rough remarks at anyone’s expense.

Brady is best when he sings – but humour needs to be involved. He has just released his debut album of R’n’B songs and the show closed with a handful of serious tunes. By this stage he has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand and has shown he possesses charisma in spades, so it would be a stony heart that suggested he was not good.

But his earnest attempts simply do not measure up with impersonations of Prince, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, MC Hammer and N*Sync; particularly when you add in Brady having to sing pre-selected titles such as Razor Sharp Flatulence (to the tune of the Rolling Stones’ Start Me Up: "you make a grown man cry/when it gets in your eye") and Glitter is the Herpes of the Craft World.

It is safe, easy comedy – but it is only safe and easy to sit and laugh at; it takes a talented, hard-working, risk-taking comedian to pull it off and tied it all together. And it is Wayne Brady that makes that part look easy.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


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Sharing his talents; promoting his album

Review by Sally Richards 05th May 2009

"I am a great big nerd", declares Wayne Brady as his show approaches its finale. He really enjoys reading and educational television programmes. I believe him, he’s a sincere guy. Yes he is a nerd, but an altogether talented and charismatic one. "We love you Wayne Brady" shrieks a gaggle of girls. I’m quite smitten too and I think I could easily take this one home to mother.

This is wholesome good fun. Wayne Brady, his sidekick Jonathan Mangum, accompanied by a two-piece band and two dancers provide a jam-packed performance. Brady promises us a variation on the old time variety show with music, dance, singing and, oh yeah, improvisational comedy. And CD promotion.

The whole show is clearly sign-posted for the audience. We are asked before we enter the auditorium to make up song titles and post them in the boxes provided. The art of improvisation is explained. Brady announced that it will be just like the TV show ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway."

The complexities of each individual set up are explained to us. Volunteers are encouraged to join Brady on stage and assured that we won’t be made to feel stupid. Like lambs to the laughter they go. Brady coaxes vital stimulus material from the volunteers. What they do for a job being the most useful catalyst. Well usually.

In Wellington it seems that there was a disproportionate amount of audience members who ‘work for the government’, in positions that they are unable to divulge to the audience. All a bit spooky. Another volunteer eagerly took to the stage with three others for a group improvisation, only to become seemingly transfixed by Brady’s wholesome aura and not participate at all. Whilst Brady had to work for his money, the use of local, ordinary stories made the show accessible to all.

Other improvisations were set up between the performers on stage and Jonathan proves a vital and talented co-conspirator. They are the kings of reverse, slow mo, fast-forward. The improvisation is inevitably successful because they are generous, committed, quick, clever, quirky and very funny. And what was so hugely pleasurable was to watch these performers do what they so obviously enjoy.

It was joyful and was a million miles away from the self-deprecating stand-up scenario. This show is about Brady sharing his talents and his love for performance, as an actor, a dancer and a singer.

The man can sing, and in so many styles. The final improvisation used our song-titles for a Celebrity Idol and we were treated to renditions by Prince, In Sync, Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones …  This was the prelude to the surprise inclusion of a couple of Brady’s r & b recordings.

He plugged his album, ‘Long Time Coming’, and we didn’t mind. Or did we? He belted out four songs, along with two Vegas dancers – not girls with ostrich plumes but two guys with the groove. It had a back to the 80s meets musical theatre feel. Perhaps not what we’d paid for.

I thought that just maybe Brady would expose some sort of deviant nature, that he might mix it up a little, show a crack in the façade. He is no enigma. The only deviance is to lure us into the theatre on the premise of improvisational comedy and then just as we are warmed up with the feel good endorphins of laughter, slap us with an album promotion. Pretty funny!?? 
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 



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Laughs lose out to album advert

Review by Candice Lewis 03rd May 2009

Wayne Brady is an incredibly multitalented man. He does it all, and does it all extremely well. You might know him from the American theatre sports programme Whose Line Is It Any Way? or as the host from the painful Don’t Forget The Lyrics.

It is with this brand of Brady in mind that mum and I sit down to enjoy the show. Along with his talented sidekick and incredibly professional back up, Brady is delivering much of what we hope for.

With his degree of experience and the predictability of human nature it must sometimes be easy to guess how things will unfold and have a few good back-up lines in mind. Even if this is the case it isn’t detracting from how funny the improvisations and imitations are.

The show is slick, he is charming and handles a particularly annoying heckler with the right balance of sweetness and profanity.

Audience members are invited onto the stage to assist in theatre sport routines and are surprisingly talented and very funny. Maybe they belong to theatre sports clubs or something, as it seems amazing that all four of the first volunteers are so confident and relaxed onstage.

Much of the humour arising from these scenarios is basic, but hey, I’m laughing and so is my mum. This interactive vibe continues for what must be close to an hour but passes far too quickly.

Of course, Brady is an amazing singer, and his imitations of In Sync and Prince are particularly brilliant. He also does a great Mick Jagger and I wish it had lasted longer.

What you may not have realised is that Brady is currently promoting his new r & b album, and he is doing so during this show. Sadly, this is where my interest in Wayne wanes.

I had read an advertisement in the paper that warns this is a variety show, and as such Brady is not a stand up comedian but an all round entertainer. Pay heed.

His cover of a Stevie Wonder song is good, but really, one song is enough. I try to concentrate, but as I don’t like r & b, this is a challenge. I don’t want to be challenged, unless it makes me laugh. If you do like r & b, then this is a treat.

I content myself with looking at the cute boys dancing on the stage, but by the third song it is wearing thin. I sustain myself with the idea that he will finish with something funny. I am wrong.

Maybe Brady doesn’t want to be a funny guy any more, he wants to be known as a ‘serious singer’. He has just as much talent as all the r & b stars in the charts today, and enjoys letting us know he has been nominated for a Grammy for one of his songs. 

I don’t care if he’s Grammy nominated or has performed for famous people. I went because I want to laugh. The first part of the show delivered, but by milking the chance to prance and sing he may have alienated much of his fan base.

He finishes the last song (a boy band style song and dance number) with a quickly shouted ‘thank you’ and is gone. That’s it. He doesn’t stay on stage to see those who were giving him a standing ovation much less do an encore.

I am used to encores, as are most Kiwis. We sit stunned in our seats clapping, waiting for him to return to the stage, and eventually realise that the raised house lights really do mean he is not about reappear. For $78.50 a ticket, I think a bow might have been cool. 

Mum looks at her watch and we try to figure out how much was funny and how much of it was a strenuous song and dance routine. We feel like confused sheep as we bumble out into the foyer.

Perhaps we could have handled the album advertisement if it was sandwiched between thick crusts of funny. Instead it was the final taste. Mum and I decide to go and rent a $5 DVD so that we can end the night with a smile.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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