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It’s Laugh Time Comedy Night at the Guild Theater took place in Oak Park this past Saturday night. The event featured a full lineup of local comedy talent along with live music and poetry.
Veteran comedian and actor Steph Sanders was the event emcee, which was sponsored by T-Mo Entertainment.
“We are always trying new ideas and concepts in response to community feedback,” local poet and T-Mo founder Terry Moore said. “It is our goal to showcase the best of Sacramento’s local talent while providing affordable family-friendly entertainment.”
Local veteran band LSB (LoveSomebody) warmed up the crowd before opening the show with an extended set from their extensive repertoire of gospel, jazz and R&B favorites. LSB band members include founder Leon “Scrap” Gray (keyboards), Brian Randle (drums and vocals) and Inga Randle (lead vocals).
While the audience settled in for evening’s entertainment, LSB performed memorable versions of hits like George Benson’s “Love X Love.” As their set wound down, Randle gave an outstanding vocal rendition of Jill Scott’s “The Way.”
The show officially got underway once Sanders took the stage to welcome the audience and acknowledge the hard work of Terry Moore and the T-Mo staff.
Sanders brought out Anna Marie Sprowl as the featured poet for the evening. Sprowl immediately connected with the female-dominated audience with her amusing romantic poem, “A Recipe for Love.” Sprowl’s poetry touched on a wide variety of subjects, including coming of age, the social consciousness and, of course, love and relationships.
Particularly poignant was her poem “Superman.” In the piece, Sprowl expresses fond memories of her father while detailing her feelings of helplessness brought on by his physical deterioration as he grew older. Sprowl completed her set with a new piece, “Behind Closed Doors,” wherein she explores a variety of secretive behaviors, such as substance abuse, adultery and child abuse, where “saints are sinners, behind closed doors.”
Once Sanders returned to the stage, he took a few minutes to poke some fun at LSB, Facebook and the sizes of audience members’ purses.
The first featured comedian, Anderi Bailey, appeared to have the easiest time keeping within “family-friendly” parameters of the show’s guidelines.
Bailey bills himself as a “Christian Comic,” which is evident on his website http://andrebfunny.mysite.com/, which states, “I have been given a vision to heal the hurting through laughter.” Bailey emphasizes that he does not use profane language at any time while performing.
Bailey is a regional veteran performer, a regular at the major comedy venues in Sacramento and the Bay Area. He displayed his well-honed comedic chops by teasing the crowd about their perceived fears of coming to Oak Park for the event.
He smoothly proceeded through his set by poking fun at the behaviors of members of his church and sharing stories about his recent marriage. Before his set ended, he even took a swipe at rapper Wocka Flocka Flame, much to the audience’s amusement.
Up-and-coming comedian Regina Givens was up next. Her set picked up where Bailey left off by clowning church members who catch the holy ghost every week. She then launched into her take on the dangers of spreading gossip, while pointing out that men are just as guilty as women of it
“I’ve been to the barbershop,” she said.
Givens had the female members of the audience howling with laughter as she exposed some of the things women will do to secure a husband, and the differences between a woman’s behavior before and after marriage.
When Sanders returned to the stage, he took the time to share a few more jokes before introducing Eugene “with the talking sax” Peebles.
Peebles is a seasoned musician who specializes in urban contemporary and Christian music. He has been a featured performer playing the national anthem on the saxophone at Sacramento Kings games and fronts his own group, the Eugene Peebles Jazz Trio.
Peebles began his set with a jazzy rendition of Johnny Gill’s “My, My, My,” followed by his version of “The Closer I Get to You,” made famous by Robert Flack featuring Donny Hathaway.
Peebles stepped up the tempo and got the crowding rocking when he played Michael Jackson’s hit single “Billie Jean.” He then closed out his set with a smooth jazz version of Eric Benet’s hit song “I Wanna Be Loved.”
Kareem J. Daniels’ comedy was easily the most political and thought-provoking of the evening, as he commented on Republican party angst and the rise and fall of presidential candidate Herman Cain.
When he moved away from politics, he made fun of himself and the difficult moments he has experienced living with a pet dog. He followed up with amusing anecdotes related to problems that occur at funerals, his childhood in the rural south and the culture shock he experienced during a recent trip to Iowa.
Sanders returned to the stage and got the crowd fired up before bringing out his good friend, headliner Dru Burks.
Burks’ presence immediately raised the energy level of the crowd. He made amusing observations on the spot about some of the previous performers, and even aimed a few barbs at one of the vendors.
He pointed out the humorous side of such diverse topics as Mayor Kevin Johnson’s difficulties with the arena deal, his personal difficulties with relationships while poking fun at himself for being a fully grown man but still having the physique of an adolescent.
When Sanders returned to the stage to close out the evening and thank the audience, he brought out all the performers for a round of applause from the appreciative crowd.
“This was a really good show,” said Tiffany Mixon, who attended her first T-Mo event at the Guild with her husband Laurent.
JoAnn Henderson also attended after hearing about it through a phone call from a friend.
“I loved the comedians,” she said. “They were off the hook! The guy on the sax was dynamite.”
The next T-Mo Entertainment event is the “I AM A QUEEN” Women’s Empowerment Conference at the Guild Theater on May 19 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Those who are interested in attending the event should contact Terry Moore well in advance at (916) 208-POET (7638) for more information or via email at email@example.com to purchase tickets.