“All Rise”; The Man, The Legend, The Woodworker – Nick Offerman came to the Celebrity Theatre

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Nick Offerman with Danny Zelisko (promoter) at Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona on December 06, 2019 (photo by Danny Zelisko)

Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: Celebrity Theatre
Date:  Friday December 13, 2019
Tour:  All Rise Tour 2019

I have seen a number of comedians over the years and I can break them down into 3 types.  First are the comedians that tell funny stories usually about things in their life or things that happened to them.  Second are the comedians that tell jokes.  The last group are comedians that use satire.  In this last group are two of the greats, Lenny Bruce and George Carlin.  Danny Zelisko commented in a Facebook post that he likened Nick Offerman to George Carlin and I would have to agree.  Like George, Nick has a dry humor.  Nick also points out relevant social situations using extreme satire and sarcasm in some cases and just straight up in your face hypocrisy for others.  This last group of comedians require that you, the audience actually think about what they say.  Sometimes it is funny and sometimes it hits close to home and can make you feel uncomfortable.  But the truth sometimes is not always pleasant or convenient.

Nick Offerman did a mixture of songs and stories for his performance.  It lasted about 90 minutes, without encore.  During that time, Nick performed 6 or 7 acoustic songs and 2 additional songs during his encore.  Most of the satire was about social issues, a little politics and some religion.  He does one about being a white man and how they are all picked on today, again satire.  The best was his story about 29 different Oreo cookies and how we all don’t have to like the same one and that is OK.  Nick is also well known for his woodworking and he did a couple of stories about that including seeing a new pair of work pants and really wanting to buy them.  Overall it was an enjoyable evening full of mind provoking stories and great satirical songs.

If you are thinking of going to see Nick recreate Ron Swanson, his character in Parks & Recreation, then you will be disappointed.  Nick only brings up this character as part of the encore.  Nick told us that Ron was only 1 of many characters he has played over the years.  But as a tribute and satire of the Ron Swanson character, Nick sang a song that told the differences between Ron and Nick in real life.  It brought numerous applause from the crowd.  Nick ended the show with the song written for a horse on Parks & Recreation that died, it was “Li’l Sebastian”.  Personally, I only have seen a few episodes of Parks & Recreation and I did not know the character Sebastian or ever hear the song.  But the crowd did and sang along with Nick.  They even pulled out their cell phones and used the flashlight feature like a lighter during the song.  It was funny watching security, that all night were running around telling people to put their cell phones away, to finally just give up during the song because so many people had them out.

Celebrity Theatre was a perfect place to see Nick.  They had the full venue open and during the songs had the stage rotate.  Nick even commented that he had not worked a round stage before.  When Nick was telling a story and the stage stopped turning, he would roam around the stage playing to different parts of the audience, so no one felt like they were being left out.  I was located in the upper section of the venue just above the concourse and had amazingly great seats.  I had no problem seeing Nick or hearing him.  You could even see the different facial expressions as he satirically made his point on a story.  If you get a chance to see a show at the Celebrity Theatre, it is well worth it.  It is one of the premier concert venues in the valley.  Richard Hazelwood and his staff have done an outstanding job of updating the lighting and sound systems to provide a truly wonderful concert experience.

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