Review: Brian Regan at The Warner Theatre

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With the nonstop laughter tonight coming from the Warner Theatre in DC, it was easy to tell that Brian Regan had brought his comedy tour to town!  Playing through Saturday, May 21, 2016, Brian Regan’s unique blend of physical comedy and quirky observations had everyone in stitches—a fantastic (if early) start to the weekend.

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Brian Regan has performed all across the country in a variety of venues, earning himself more and more fans across all demographics with his winning—and hilarious—brand of comedy. He has a number of live specials for Comedy Central and recorded CDs, and recently filmed the first ever live special for Comedy Central at Radio City Music Hall.

Opening the show for Regan was comedian Jim Colliton. Colliton had the crowd laughing about his adventures in suburbia with his wife and three kids. His stories on having to bring his son’s lunch to school (or what he hoped was his son’s school) or supporting his children in their various pursuits of different sports were relatable and extremely entertaining. His slightly cynical, personable style was a perfect complement and intro to Regan’s more episodic, physical comedy.

In a pitch-perfect introduction, Colliton introduced Regan and mentioned that he had recently filmed a live special for Comedy Central but the name of the venue completely slipped his mind. Regan then came onto the stage on a wave of applause and immediately said that it was great to be there, having just come off filming a special for Comedy Central at this hall in New York that he just couldn’t remember the name of. The audience erupted into laughter at the good-natured ribbing.

While many famous comedians who have their famous routines feel they must do them at every concert, Regan avoided his well-known routines for various new jokes about airports, his family, and a variety of other quotidian scenarios that became comical through Regan’s eyes. Regan’s exaggerated facial expressions and physical moves took his humor to an entirely new level, as he acted out a jockey-less horse winning the race or acting out how a bumblebee does a figure-eight dance to indicate food nearby.

Brian Regan. Photo courtesy of his website.
Brian Regan. Photo courtesy of his website.

In what was perhaps a nod to DC, Regan had a couple bits about government and hot button issues (like gun control), but the funniest of his timely bits was a joke about how to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Poking fun at the ridiculous extremes of some of these all-too-serious topics was a good reminder that moderation in all things is key—and the fact that he was frankly hilarious certainly didn’t hurt.

The night ended with Regan telling a true story, in preparation for an upcoming appearance on the Comedy Central TV show This is Not Happening. Despite his protests that it was new material and he wasn’t sure if there were any laugh points, he needn’t have worried. His descriptions of traveling with Alex the Stroh’s Dog as the “campaign manager” while the dog was running for president prompted uproarious laughter, especially with the culmination of him bombing in an ice hockey arena while the dog rode the Zamboni in circles around him. It was a great end to the night. My only hope is that the stitch in my side from all the laughing will be better by tomorrow!

Running Time: Approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission.

Brian Regan plays through Saturday, May 21, 2016 at the Warner Theatre – 513 13th Street, in Washington, DC. For tickets, purchase them online.

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