BEAVER CREEK — The audience was brought to tears — of laughter, that is — from the moment comedian Brian Regan took the stage at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Thursday night. When he made his exit — after an encore that included audience requests on his bit about preparing to ship a box on UPS as well as a take on the questions one has to answer when going to a hospital emergency room — he literally took the ordinary and made it extraordinary — extraordinarily funny that is!
Regan’s observations on everyday occurrences are priceless, and to repeat his jokes is worthless. You had to be there! He builds and massages everything to a breaking point, taking the audience with him and keeping them in the palm of his hand the entire time. Regan covers everyday topics from mortgages to the NBA (he says he’d like to have another Miami team just so, when asked about its name, he could say “It’s not the Heat, it’s the Humidity) to the tardiness of doctors to asking why the catch of the day is always fish. (“Didn’t they have to catch the animals, too?”)
Although Regan has probably performed his act hundreds of times, he has mastered the art of spontaneity and his delivery is just that. And his amazing physicality completes the picture. He dances, he strides, he crouches, he limps.
Master of the Mundane
He holds the audiences attention by being relatable. Who hasn’t been locked out of a room because the key has demagnetized? Who hasn’t been at a party, forgotten a name and wanted to hide? Who hasn’t been told, at a hotel, that there’s no reservation under “that” name? Regan is an absolute master at taking mundane occurrences and milking them to the point of hysteria. And no one sees it coming. It’s genius.
Comedian Joe Bolster, whose low-key approach to his craft was the antithesis of Regan’s, was the perfect person to open the show. His intelligent, deliberate, tongue-in-cheek humor sometimes sideswiped the audience. A second would pass — and then barrels of laughter. (“How many of you are here for the first time? Who hasn’t been here before?”) Bolster was sharp, and like Regan, takes something ordinary and makes it funny – like when he described a scar on his chest that was so big is was “available on Google Earth.”
For more than an hour (no intermission) Regan made many of our everyday occurrences, thoughts, and observations fodder for his humor. His awareness of all that we see, do and say is so relatable, so true that it’s uncanny. If given the time, then he probably could have performed for two more hours without missing a beat — and the audience would have been right there with him.
Yet, soon it was time for Regan to wrap it up. And, after a standing ovation, he came back on stage as his fans began yelling for him to perform some of their favorite topics. Hence the UPS and emergency room bits.
It was a terrific, family-friendly, absolutely fun evening. So rich, so real and so right on.