“The W. Kamau Bell Curve”

Pub date January 6, 2009
WriterRobert Avila
SectionArts & CultureSectionStage

REVIEW Standup comic W. Kamau Bell has reopened his frank, funny, and genuinely thoughtful one-man show at SF Playhouse, and it’s worth catching if you haven’t yet (I took in a recent performance at the Climate).

Subtitled "Ending Racism in About an Hour," Bell’s reflections on the recent election and Proposition 8, among other race-inflected personal and political matters still closer to home, are topical, to say the least, and run considerably deeper than the usual one-liners or simplistic oppositions of much race-based comedy. Meanwhile, Bell’s sure and charismatic stage presence, ready wit, and excellent comic timing ensure that the lines between scripted material, inspired tangents, and eager engagement with both the day’s headlines and his diverse audience remain all but seamless.

THE W. KAMAU BELL CURVE Opens Thurs/8. Thurs.–Sat., 8 p.m. Through Feb. 28. SF Playhouse Studio Theater, 533 Sutter, SF. $25 (bring a friend of a different race, and get in two for one). www.wkamaubell.com