Royal Comedy Tour brings heavy hitters to Milwaukee

Urban comedy veterans Sommore, Bruce Bruce, Mark Curry and Earthquake commanded the stage at the Milwaukee Theatre.

By - Feb 17th, 2013 10:19 pm
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For fans of urban comedy, The Royal Comedy Tour was the place to be Sunday, Feb. 11, as hundreds of folks headed out to the Milwaukee Theater to see four of the industry’s most famous players.

Bearing snowy weather, the show’s attendees came decked out in their Sunday best (if we are to replace the sacredness of the day with stilettos and zoot suits) ready to party with the show’s sassy emcee, Sommore, and Earthquake, the show’s uproarious headliner.

Heavyweight funny-hitter and black comedy special veteran Bruce Bruce was likely the most-famous comedian to take to the stage, but it’s hard to say just who stole the show.

For those who grew up during the run of TGIF programming, it may have been Mark Curry, star of the ’90s sitcom Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, whose animated characterizations of women and other figures in the black community seemed to resonate most strongly with the audience.

Unlike other comedians who rattle off their TV and movie credits during sets, Curry never once mentioned his Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper days, where he starred for five seasons between 1992-1995 with The Talk’s Holly Robinson-Peete and Cosby sweetheart and teen Disney star Raven Symone.

Curry proved to be the best at commanding the stage — perhaps a skill left over from his sitcom days — using the space to bring the audience into such places as a strip club where he mimicked a blind dancer (who hilariously felt her way to the pole and gave awkward lap dances), or into the mind of an investigative girlfriend who continuously checks her man only to be met with sounds that don’t quite match up with his whereabouts (Is that a dog? In the bowling alley?) The occasional F-bomb from the seasoned sitcom-star was shocking at first, but Curry’s acting talent—along with his veritable timing and striking impressions were spot on.

The beautiful and sharp-witted Sommore, a former algebra teacher and one of the first comediennes to host the Def Comedy Jam, also had the crowd roaring when she jumped into her impressions of black girlfriends, including “Negative Nancy” and others who get drunk, high, and “pinstripe” (scratch) their ex-boyfriends while the girls are just trying to have a girl’s night out at the club. She also offered up her opinions on what celebrities could “do Oprah right,” making the crowd both laugh and squirm at the unintentional visual. Apparently, Terrance Howard is out, although Sommore did give the late Michael Clarke Duncan, of The Green Mile fame, the green light.

Speaking of unintended visuals, Bruce Bruce completely intended for the audience to imagine his sexual prowess as he sometimes gyrated his larger-than-life frame in a set dedicated to womens’ insatiable shopping and sexual habits. Between a discussion of buying his wife Gucci, and later helping her steal four pairs of Christian Louboutians (“Want it, Get it, Let’s Ride”) Bruce Bruce’s energetic performance had some audience members literally jumping out of their seats calling out “Amen.”

Unfortunately, one woman couldn’t stop shouting, sending Bruce Bruce into a side-splitting, expletive-filled rant about “stupid people.” While many people in the audience may have been annoyed by the interruption, the ruckus actually put the comedian’s talent on full display, as he not only wittily chided the woman for her rude behavior (“Do I come to your job and take the broom out of your hand?”) but also showed off his great comedic timing as he spewed one-liners at the woman like bullets speeding out of a gun (“I’ve got 1,200 jokes [expletive] and I’m only on number twelve”).

By the time the show’s headliner, Earthquake came to the stage, the audience was hyped, making it at times difficult to hear the thickly-accented comedian, even in the front rows. Like Bruce Bruce, Earthquake focused his time on women and dating – although since he’d just gotten a highly publicized divorce off-camera, so it was hard to tell if the Everybody Hates Chris star’s schtick was the result of exaggerated accounts or real situations.

“These ain’t jokes,” he said.

It was funny, nonetheless.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Theater

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