Wayne Brady - The Stage on Fire!
The evening lights were beaming and there was no lack of the anticipation at The Park Hotel, Calcutta to see the master of Improvisation Comedy juggling with words that the audience throws at him on-the-spot. Sharp at 7:15 PM, we walked in at the venue and after completing a few formalities; we were immediately greeted with the distinctive smell of the Black Dog cocktails, with a hint of soda and sprinkled ice accompanied by a sumptuous palate of dishes. The show kicked off with the graceful Lola Kutty a Channel [V] VJ, as she connected the dots between Malayali and the Bengali common thread. But the show was stolen off almost immediately by an effervescent Sourabh Pant, who glided in and out of the limelight, with an unmatched élan, and reduced the audience into a mere group of squealing rabbits by his subtle and moderated satire.
As Panth kept his audience busy with his jokes on hardcore Bongs and Tiger Woods, the limelight shifted to the alleys of the stage, where the tall dark man, dressed in white casual tees, let echoes spread around him, with his street rap and the audience not to be left behind, swayed and flayed the their hands in unison. The environment was electrifying as Wayne hit the stage, and the trio of Wayne Brady, Jonathan Magnum and Cat Gray made sure that they pull up every trick from their Bible of Laughter and everyone at the auditorium lapped it up- every bit of it. The group scored in enacting sections from varied movie scenes to creating a visit to the Taj Mahal and creating up a restaurant playact.
Setting up situations – to unpredictable volunteers – impromptu words – crazy Bollywood steps – and riding a donkey, Wayne Brady was like a pack of cards – you never know what’s coming up next, the Joker or the King, he orchestrated an equal music and godly grace. He was however quick to shift the ‘situation comedy’ from turning into monotony to a hand crafted Celebrity Idols show, where he could have given a lot of musicians a run for their money. Jonathan pulled up a pack of cards, with bizarre song titles (My Banana is 7 percent Sad and My Dog is Gay - are my personal favorites) which doesn’t exist in real life and Brady picked up words and tunes out of thin air, held the microphone close, strung them into a song and sang till the audience was at awe and the claps grew louder and fuller. With an amicable smile on his lips and witty eyes darting from one person to another trying to gauge his next move, throwing shadows at the audiences and the subtle steps that he took to glorify the evening all of them combined and it was one heady cocktail. One memorable evening and one standing ovation for the master of standup Comedy Wayne Brady! All Hail!
The final showdown was the Black Dog Lucky draw competition, when Sarath came running up from the back benches of the auditorium to lift an 18 year old Black Dog! Now that’s what we call is a sheer Dog’s luck.