In honor of Yvonne Orji’s HBO comedy special Yvonne Orji: Momma, I Made It! which aired on Saturday June 6 at 10pm….I thought to share my review of her Lagos to Laurel comedy tour. I saw her months ago and purposely saved it for this moment because I didn’t want to ruin anything for anyone. Please know, I did not watch the HBO special so as you read this keep that in mind.
I saw her at the Helium Comedy Club. There is parking that is right next door so that part was pretty smooth. However, from there it went downhill a bit. Now whether that was due to Yvonne or the venue , I don’t know. When I arrived there was a line, not usually a big deal, but mind you it’s February. Door should’ve already opened but Sunshine they are in fact closed. Why are we out here in the cold waiting without any announcement? I don’t know…CRAY! An announcement comes finally. Guess what? A man comes out saying he got a call that there was a mistake. What the mistake was or who made it again don’t know. So I’m like well when will doors open and he responds he doesn’t know. IMAGINE! On the Lord’s day, a Sunday, we all cute and cold with no idea when doors will open. I’m starting to get a little annoyed. Now I can only take but so much cold so I walk up to the door and ask someone else who works there, what is the hold up sir? And you might have guessed this already BUT…he doesn’t know. He asks bout my tix and I told him I got them online and was directed to go in, show my ID, and get my tix. He asks if I’m alone so I say yeah…(There is a lesson here Sunshine, don’t be afraid to move solo). He says go in and buy a drink at the bar then when the doors open head straight in. Guess what I did? I headed straight in toward the bar. For those in line who weren’t told what to do chances are they spent more time in the cold waiting. Fun Fact: I noticed they don’t search bags or purses so at any moment someone could let that choppa sing (do with that information what you will). When I walked in Davido “FIA” was playing …then they played my jam by J Hus “Did You See” The music was rocking. So much so I forgot I was in the cold for a good amount of time. The place was full and women were mostly present. I could literally count how many men were there on my fingers and toes and I would still have fingers and toes left.
- I Arrived at 6:30
- Doors opened at 6:48
- Announcement at 7:39
- 1st Opening Act around 7:40
- 2nd Opening Act around 7:53
- Denim on Denim with Exclamation Point Earrings, and Braids Braided up, Yvonne Comes Out 8:15
Now to the show. It was done very well. She really spoke to the Nigerian-American experience, singleness in your 30s, and etc. Her energy is both insane and captivating. The jokes were inclusive, funny, and the transitions were effortless. She told her story her way and I was ALL here for it. My fave quotes were “Like 2 coconuts growing on a mango tree something is not right” and “Me? A whole me?!” I’m proud of her. In my head she is my sis and there is nothing like “Black Girl Magic” mixed with “Nigerian Noir Pixie Dust”
There have been criticisms. Let me say this. In my opinion, she did a good job blending both cultures. I’ve heard some critique about her accent and a perceived lack of authenticity. Honestly, she has spent most of her life here in the America, but in a Nigerian household. To me, she’s both and that should be ok. Being too African for Americans and too American for Africans is a struggle I know very well. So I’m not surprised by this feedback. We must remind ourselves about who this special is for. She isn’t a Basketmouth, Ayo Makun, Bovi, or I Go Dye. Also, whether or not her 9ja accent makes you cringe or you feel she is far removed, that is your opinion. I disagree, but you are entitled to your opinion. This is a special that is not only for Nigerians/Africans. It is for all and she did an amazing job of interweaving cultures so that both can enjoy. And enjoy I did. If you have HBO please check out her special and support. If you don’t have HBO, ask a friend for their login and watch it on the app. You won’t be disappointed.
Let Your Momma, I Made it Light Shine!