Tagged as arguably the most-anticipated act to grace this year's festival bill, Wanda Sykes had hype aplenty to live up to. Fortunately, her stand-up comedy proved sublime and, more often than not, breathtaking, such was her relentlessness of her hilarity.
Sykes' allure resides in her snappy sass and attitude, the irresistible staples of her stage-craft. Sykes is super-charismatic and speaks with conviction, elevating even the simplest of ideas from the stuff of mere giggles to tear-inducing gold. Her act is fairly coherent, tending to milk topics for their comedic worth without great diversion. Sykes incorporates shots of political satire, with discussions pertaining to passive-aggression same sex rights and even the pitfalls of parenting also featured throughout her routine. Irrespective of the matter at hand, Sykes always seems to find something to feel exasperated about, her unique catharsis especially funny.
Fans familiar with Sykes' work on Curb Your Enthusiasm, the Chris Rock Show and even Pootie Tang will be delighted with her stand-up. She's a complete natural, her routine brimming with biting punchlines, observations and, in some instances, food for thought. Highly recommended.
(A special mention also goes out to Headliners comic Keith Robinson, who opened for Sykes with a superb 5-10 minute set, dissecting ideas behind racism and offensive humor.)