Sammy J was in fine form this evening, linking his witty songs with nifty patter and asides.
His comedic fodder is largely the skewering of stereotypical clichés. For example the sport-obsessed Australian male and superfluous products like feminine sweat pads which use the embarrassment factor of a “sweaty crotch” as a marketing tool. These are only a couple of very clever examples of the “cringe factor” that he utilizes so well to satirize, sometimes gently and sometimes more stridently.
In his first number he explored the potentiality of a female death mission Ninja being in the audience. Lots of Star Wars references. Thence to the concept of being Un-Australian. Sammy J delighted in regaling the audience with the nerd or sports-immune factor (90% of the population) versus the (10%) rugby mad. It was a compelling argument plausibly presented. The lyrics from woman trapped in a sports discussion at a party were hilarious.
I had, like thousands of others, seen his youtube sensation You Held my Hand; a vicious dissection of the fellow airline passenger who in a fit of nerves during turbulence laid his hand on that of Sammy J. The passenger’s determination not to acknowledge this contact post flight was mercilessly exploited.
A major factor in Sammy J’s charm offensive is his ability to exploit the contrast of his slender body and mild demeanour by transforming himself into an obsessive ranting self-parody. He is also a mean keyboard player and though he mainly talks through songs he has a fine voice.
Few comedians can take a poignant subject such as the grandad’s directions to his forbears Don’t Press Delete while they sort out his house post funeral and he begs them to view his life through his computer correspondence. It’s largely humorous but has an underlying edge that few can command.
There were a couple of shaggy dog stories about teenage male exposure on the school bus and the jokester lines between couples about accidents and misfortunes which actually eventuate. When the authorities attend, “Would you tell them about the joke?” See the show for the answer!
An old favourite, The Backwards Song, was sung with the usual brilliant dexterity and drew spontaneous applause from the almost capacity audience.
Sammy J’s invitation to entertain on a cruise was tempered with the request to “Keep it clean”, a request he riposted by writing a particularly strongly worded endorsement of a common explicative. As always, he finished this number with a boldly insouciant flourish.
There was a rather daring singalong where a most receptive audience joined gamely in until we came to the rhyming line of “the knife was blunt.” Sammy J let us off with a beaming smile.
Finally there was the lovely and most amusing It’s Time to Go, when the party has worn itself to a standstill and it’s time to decide; soldier on ‘til dawn or call it quits?
A really well constructed, enjoyable show. Well worth a visit!
Laughing Stock Productions presents
The Sammy J Songbook
Venue: The Gold Digger | State Theatre Centre of WA, Northbridge, WA
Dates: 27 – 30 January 2016
Tickets: $25 – $$34