Jeanne Robertson

Review: Jeanne Robertson | AT&T Performing Arts Center | Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

Southern Charm

Humorist Jeanne Robertson, known from SiriusXM's Blue Collar Comedy Channel, slays the audience at AT&T Performing Arts Center's Winspear Opera House

published Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Jeanne Robertson

DallasJeanne Robertson has a soft spot for Dallas. Five years ago, the now-71-year-old humorist was convinced to branch out into social media by posting one of her stories, “Don’t Send a Man to the Grocery Store,” on YouTube. It went viral, which worried the grandmother a bit until she learned what that meant.

What to do with a video that has now surpassed seven million views? You broaden out from the corporate world where Robertson was a fantastically successful convention speaker career and go into comedy show business. Her very first engagement was at the Lakewood Theater. She never looked back.

“Now THIS is an upgrade,” said Al McCree, Robertson’s opening act and tour promoter, his outstretched arm sweeping across at the Winspear Opera House at AT&T Performing Arts Center. The packed house was surprisingly mixed, with a hearty round of under-50 folks attracted from her shows on SiriusXM’s Blue Collar Comedy channel. McCree sang and strummed a little ditty about butter beans and other Southernisms like collard greens and cornbread, turning it into a sing-along.

Then came the tragicomic spectacle of moving the nearly immobile 6’2” Robertson on stage while she comically castigated McCree for referring to it a “bum knee.” She tore her meniscus two weeks prior and endured painful knee surgery. McCree and a stagehand carefully lowered her into a rocking chair (that was later given away). The audience pretty much melted in admiration for her fortitude.

Robertson settled in—“I may be in a chair, but I am still in charge. Remember, I used to teach”—and recapped her career that started as being named Miss North Carolina in 1963 and Miss Congeniality in the Miss America competition. Referring to her stupendous height—“People yell out ‘Hey lady, who do you play for?’ when I walk through airports”—she related how coping with such comments honed her sense of humor early on: “The best place to look for humor is ourselves.”

The audience eagerly took in an hour’s worth of stories unfurling from Robertson. Many spun around the theme of rivalries between Southern universities of Auburn, Elon and Duke, and how the senior set alumni still keep it going. Bear Bryant’s ghost and its houndstooth hat made an appearance. Woven throughout almost all of the tales were mentions of her husband “Left Brain,” a very old-fashioned guy and the comical bane of her creative existence: “Left-brained people are all about order. Us right-brained people hear ‘order’ and think food.”

Robertson’s often-mischievous tales were surprisingly long, rife with digressions, commentary, and one-liners. Like a river bearing to the sea, the meanders gained momentum until swiftly coursing to a punchline conclusion that was often belly-laughing good. Like going to great lengths to connect Left Brain to an old classmate, Bob Sharp, who he denied knowing. This vexed Roberston to no end until he revealed that he did know a Bobby Sharp. It slayed the audience; you had to be there. What made it work was the clear affection for her overly exacting husband.

Unable to perform the usual stage bows and exit, Robertson announced “This is the part where you applaud” and the audience obliged. Then the audience filed out while Robertson’s aides extracted her from the chair and gingerly moved her off stage, animatedly recalling lines from what they just listened to, always the sign of a good show. Thanks For Reading

Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Southern Charm
Humorist Jeanne Robertson, known from SiriusXM's Blue Collar Comedy Channel, slays the audience at AT&T Performing Arts Center's Winspear Opera House
by Amy Martin

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :