I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a big fan of Paula Poundstone, the offbeat and outspoken comedian, whom Bob Nocek Presents LLC brought to the Meymandi Concert Hall on Dec. 1st. Poundstone took the stage in her signature style (here, a bright red suit with black stripes and her black-and-white shiny shoes) and wasted no time bringing the humor.
A regular on NPR’s radio news quiz, “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me,” Paula Poundstone has been a comedy staple for over three decades. She was discovered by the late Robin Williams, and garnered attention and acclaim. She would go on to become the first female comedian to win a CableACE Award for her special, Cats, Cops and Stuff. Her career spans comedy specials, movie and film acting and voiceover work, as well as contributing to panels and political commentary.
It never really feels quite like standup at a Paula Poundstone show. Instead, it feels more like she’s having a conversation with the audience. She’s not performing for us; we’re all just hanging out together.
Poundstone’s observational humor about life and its many twists and turns elicits big, convivial laughs. Nothing is off limits for her. Topics ranged from her very public sentencing to Alcoholics Anonymous during her 2001 criminal trial, to President-Elect Trump, and from cats, to our addiction to connectivity and devices. But the highlight always remains her interaction with us, the audience. Poundstone possesses an ability to work from a non-threatening angle of genuine inquisitiveness and perplexity. It’s what makes every show feel inclusive and new.
Comedy is, as most things, subjective. Paula Poundstone isn’t your typical comedian. But if you appreciate watching a strong humorist do her magic, I’d strongly suggest you check her out next time she swings through the Triangle.
SECOND OPINION: Nov. 25th Raleigh, NC News & Observer preview by Ed Condran: http://www.newsobserver.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article116384448.html. (Note: To read Triangle Arts and Entertainment’s online version of the Nov. 28th Triangle Review preview by Peggy Higgins, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2016/11/on-dec-1st-comedian-paula-poundstone-will-tickle-triangle-funny-bones-with-her-offbeat-humor/.)
PAULA POUNDSTONE Bob Nocek Presents LLC, Dec 1 in Meymandi Concert Hall in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, NC).
Paula Poundstone (Huntsville, AL-born comedian, actress, and author) http://www.paulapoundstone.com/ (official website), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005323/ (Internet Movie Database), https://www.facebook.com/PaulaPoundstone (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/paulapoundstone (Twitter page), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Poundstone (Wikipedia), and https://www.youtube.com/paulapoundstone (YouTube).
[RUN HAS CONCLUDED.]
Jesse R. Gephart is a Raleigh, NC-based actor, director, and reviewer. A Gainesville, FL native, he earned a degree in Theatre Performance in 2005 from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. On Dec. 9-11 and 16-18, he will reprise his critically acclaimed performance as David/Crumpet in Theatre in the Park’s presentation of The SantaLand Diaries in TIP’s Ira David Wood III Pullen Park Theatre in Raleigh. To read more of Jesse Gephart’s reviews, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/jesse-r-gephart/.)