Sinbad easily demonstrated that there are as many facets and faces to his comedy as there are treasures in Aladdin’s treasure trove at the Meherrin River Arts Council’s second show of the 2019 season at their Greensville Elementary School facility on Saturday night. For nearly three hours the popular 62 year-old funny man – aided and abetted by his opening act/sidekick Chase Anthony - regaled the packed house with witticisms on subjects ranging from the challenges of relationships and aging to the impossibility of dealing with how to finally discard droopy underwear. And as the audience howled with laughter, the atmosphere quickly settled into a cozy feeling of sitting around the room listening to a favorite crazy uncle.
Part of the ease the audience could feel likely came from the way that the two interact with each other. Anthony has opened all of Sinbad’s shows for two years now, and the pair took the audience on a wild ride through anecdotes on topics as diverse as millennials, marriage, ageing, and advice on dealing with teen age children.
Ranked by Comedy Central as one of the “100 greatest Standups of All Time” it was immediately obvious that Sinbad’s over three decades of movies, television, and standup experience – including currently starring in the sitcom “Rel” on FOX – have made him quite at home with any audience. And he brought the fun right down to the local level, poking good-natured fun at everything from the challenge of dealing with tiny toilets in the Greensville Elementary School restrooms to the warnings he’d received about local speed-traps – and being in “not Richmond.” Interspersed with quips about any and everything, including each other, the two managed to take even pretty serious topics and make them irresistibly hilarious. The entire evening went smoothly, as people have come to expect of MRAC shows over the years, and everywhere one looked there were smiling faces helping with everything from where to park to how to find seats, restrooms, and refreshments at the lovely facility. And the audience was filled with people of all ages – some from quite far away. They ranged from die-hard fans to some who weren’t exactly who Sinbad was when they first arrived. But they all were there to have a good time, and judging from the comments overhead in the audience before, during and after the show, they did that!
Emporia resident Peggy Dunne said that her first MRAC show was Boys 2 Men two years ago, and enthused, “It’s so exciting to get to see Sinbad here! I’ve enjoyed everything he’s done so excited to see him in person! They (MRAC) really do a great job bringing in different acts here for the community for people that can’t see them other places.”
Crystal Crutchfield, who works with Greensville County Public Schools, said, “I don’t live in the area, and I’d heard so much about these shows I wanted to come to an event, and here I am! I’ve only seen Sinbad before in movies, but it’s fun to see him in person! This is really nice. I didn’t expect all this. It’s really something nice - something different. A great date-night thing!”
Ryan Crutchfield admitted that he hadn’t been exactly sure what he was going to see, then added, “We came over from Lacrosse and I’m glad I was here!”
Jeff Forbes, a long-time Sinbad fan from Dinwiddie said that it was his first time at an MRAC show – but it would not be his last. “It’s so exciting to have him here in this area!” he said.
Randy Hill, from Emporia, said, “I’m very excited about him coming to our little small town here and giving us a show – and hope he’ll be back in the future! I’ve been a fan for long time. My favorite thing I’ve seen him do is his stand up, but I’ve only seen it on TV, so I’m really thrilled to get to see him live.”
Nellie Hill, another local, said that she was excited about seeing Sinbad, then added, “This is such a great facility. I’m really grateful that the arts council is doing something like this for the area.”
A party of four who drove down from Stony Creek said that they were given season tickets as special Christmas Gifts. One of the four, Doris Upton, said of the show, “I loved it! It was just terrific! I love how Sinbad acts and all. I’ve been coming here for the last three years now and love it. We come to every one of the shows here!”
“It was real good,” added Gerald ‘Juicy‘ Taylor. “This place is really fine. Wish we had this in Stony Creek.”
Wanda Jones from Colonial heights said that she’s been a member of MRAC for ten years and comes to “Everything! I wouldn’t miss one! I’m very excited about what they do. We don’t get a lot of entertainment in the area so I think this is top notch. To tell you the truth, I know who he is hadn’t heard Sinbad before.” Then she laughed and added that she started coming to the Arts Council’s shows “because my favorite singer was here – Engelbert Humperdinck! And I was right back there” she said, pointing toward a seat about a dozen rows back. Grinning and indicating her front row seat, she added, “And I’ve worked my way up here.”