Comic legend Sinbad certainly has not lost his touch, as he proved Sunday, March 19th, when he performed in a one-night special engagement in Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall, presented by Bob Nocek Presents LLC and Broadway Series South.
Sinbad (born David Atkins) has been charming audiences for over three decades and has been ranked by Comedy Central as one of the “100 Greatest Standups of All Time.” Gauging by the audiences nonstop laughter I would agree. The audience had a nice mixture of people of various ages, races, and walks of life. This is a testament to the far reach and appeal of Sinbad.
Sinbad originally began his stand-up career by appearing as a contestant on Star Search. However, I remember being first introduced to him around 1987 when he appeared on the popular TV show A Different World, which was a spinoff of The Cosby Show. Sinbad played the funny loveable character of Coach Walter Oakes, a graduate student, football and track coach, and dorm director.
After dabbling in the acting realm and portraying a few different characters in movies, commercials, and TV shows, he landed his own show titled The Sinbad Show. One thing that is appealing to his fans, and that I have always liked about Sinbad, is that he is a clean comedian.
Most mainstream comedians feel that in order to be edgy or to stand out they need to be filthy in both subject matter and language. Don’t get me wrong, a properly placed F-bomb can be hilarious, but it is also a cheap way to get a laugh. It takes far greater skills and humor to be able to deliver a clean set. Sinbad understands that comedy is part entertainment, part life; and it is honorable that a comedian can gauge the audience to determine which is needed more.
Sunday night’s opening act was Chase Anthony, a wonderful up-and-coming comedian that I suspect we will see a lot more of. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Anthony currently resides in a tiny studio apartment on the beach of Santa Monica, CA. After his set, he introduced Sinbad; but when he tried to exit the stage, Sinbad had other plans for him.
Part of what makes good comedy and improv so special is that it is hard to distinguish between what is scripted and what is not. Instead of doing a one-man show, Sinbad used Chase Anthony as a bantering partner.
Together, they covered all the hot topic issues you knew would be addressed, such as the presidency, “alternative facts,” and healthcare. Sinbad also covered other topics in his humorous magical way, such as combating a bully, how to overcome a crappy job, and the perils of aging gracefully.
Sinbad is a master of his craft, especially when it comes to audience interaction. Sometimes, the audience members will play with you, giving you fresh ammo for your jokes, while others are fireworks that disappoint and fizzle out. Sinbad takes the chance, yet artfully sidesteps when things don’t go well, turning the joke into a joke.
Another often overlooked aspect of comedy is doing research about the town and venue prior to the show. Sinbad researched Raleigh, Durham, and the surrounding areas to be able to incorporate local landmarks into the jokes. Mentioning specific locations puts the audience on the same level as the comedian and makes them feel a part of the show.
One of the highlights came at the end of the evening when Sinbad picked up his bass guitar to show Chase Anthony what “real music” sounds like. He began to play in funk style “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” by Sly and The Family Stone. Then he transitioned into The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” and he ended with the opening lyrics of Rock Master Scott and The Dynamic Three’s “The Roof Is on Fire.” Ending the show with I’m just kidding (in partial reference to a previous joke about Durham, but also possibly due to the recent devastating Raleigh fire).
Sinbad was also a very gracious host. After his two-hour set, he generously stayed around taking selfies and pictures with any of his fans who wanted one. Although this was a one-night engagement, if you get the chance to see Sinbad live, you should go.
SINBAD (Bob Nocek Presents LLC and Broadway Series South, March 19 in Meymandi Concert Hall in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, NC).
Chase Anthony: http://www.chasecomedy.com/videos/.
Sinbad (nee David Adkins, Benton Harbor, MI-born stand-up comedian and actor): http://www.cc.com/comedians/sinbad (Comedy Central Stand-Up page), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005435/ (Internet Movie Database), https://www.facebook.com/Sinbadbad/ (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/sinbadbad (Twitter page), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinbad_%28comedian%29 (Wikipedia).
[RUN HAS CONCLUDED.]
Shannon Plummer-White is no stranger to the stage! She studied Musical Theater & Opera at the American Musical Dramatic Academy in New York City, and has appeared in films such as Iron Man 3 and Safe Haven. She has also performed with the North Carolina Master Chorale and the North Carolina Symphony. When she isn’t on stage or making magic behind the scenes, she can be found in the art studio playing with fire and molten glass. She is an animal advocate with a special love of cats. She has four rescued fur children and a very supportive husband. Click here to read her reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.