Sasheer Zamata

Review: Sasheer Zamata | Amphibian Stage Productions

Comedy at the Theater

Amphibian Stage Productions' ambitious comedy series is on fire this week, with SNL alum Sasheer Zamata.

published Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Photo: Zack DeZon
Sasheer Zamata
Fort Worth — Without necessarily meaning to, Sasheer Zamata has become something of a comedy luminary in the Metroplex over the past year. After all, she headlined the 2018 Dallas Comedy Festivala, and now she’s one of the select few (Baron Vaughn and Melissa Villaseñor have been two others) to participate in the Amphibian Stage Productions’ comedy residency program, wherein a comic does shows for a week, honing, experimenting, and crafting as they go.

If you saw Zamata’s first of five nights on Tuesday, and you also saw her at Dallas Comedy House earlier this year, you will recognize about half the jokes, but fear not; she has reworked and tweaked her material, in the spirit of the Amphibian program, and hence is giving DFW what amounts to a whole new show.

Zamata was a capable performer on SNL, but the stage suits her brand of comedy best of all. That’s because her material is drawn from her life experiences, but she refines that material into a hilarious style all her own—she’s not a cookie-cutter “observational” comic.

She talks about going down rabbit holes in researching her jokes, and lets us in follow her down in the most amusing, charming, and informative way. After seeing her show, you will know more about pineapples and Amelia Earhart than you ever did before.

But the rabbit-hole effect is also on display when her material broaches more delicate topics or her personal experiences; one joke/observation/story leads to the next in a way that’s so natural that even calling them segues is selling Zamata short.

I’ve come to understand that comics taking part in the Amphibian are faced with a unique challenge, and that is the audience largely consists of theatergoers, many of whom are season-ticket holders, rather than comedy junkies.

The good news for comics is, the audience is gentle, forgiving, and loves to laugh. They are not a tough crowd. However, Zamata posed a question, open at first to any woman in the audience to answer, and then rephrased it so that anyone of any gender could answer.

In other words, she was trying to do crowd work, but it was crickets from the audience. I know it was a personal and challenging question she asked (not to give too much away), but I have a message to theatergoers who don’t normally go see live comedy: help a comic out. In that moment, she was dyin’ up there (eventually, a guy did answer her question, and she handled it all with aplomb).

The opening comics were the local KeLanna Spiller, who should teach workshops on facial expressions because she employs them so well in her set, and Kenny DeForest, whose observations about growing old are witty and dovetail nicely with Zamata’s style.

Above all, Zamata’s act is whip-smart and self-deprecating, and you have four more chances to go see her. Take advantage.

Sasheer Zamata performs at 8 nightly through Saturday, Dec. 1. Thanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow
Click or Swipe to close
Comedy at the Theater
Amphibian Stage Productions' ambitious comedy series is on fire this week, with SNL alum Sasheer Zamata.
by Kevin Beane

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 :