Wednesday, June 1, 2011

An American, a Brit, an Armenian and an Arab walk into a bar ...

Last night I went to Cooper's, a bar in the Park Rotana complex to see a Women's Comedy Act that sounded interesting. It was a group of women from different cultures and sounded like it would be pretty funny. ... it wasn't. I guess the best way to describe is to say that's its comedy's equivalent to community theatre (see my post on Urinetown, the Musical to see what I mean). But, since Brian was out of town and I had nothing better to do, it wasn't a complete waste of time, just not as entertaining as expected. And, of course, like all things Abu Dhabi, it started 30 minutes late. ;)

The first performer was the 'host' of the evening and she was Lebanese. So, she had BIG hair, lots of makeup and talked with a very thick syrupy accent. Her schtick was that she was looking for a girl for her son to marry. She then became the emcee as the other women each did their separate act as a kind of a 'tryout' for the Lebanese woman's son. She was annoying, too loud and her accent so think and overdone that I couldn't understand half of the jokes.

Next up was a British women who was, to put it nicely ... awful. She talked about getting stopped at the airport because her passport photo was so bad. I know, it sounds promising, but the delivery and timing were off so it barely hit mildly amusing. Luckily, her act was quite short. ;) Then, an Armenian-American woman did her thing and while she was better than the Brit, she still wasn't that great. Her content was all around the dating scene. After that was the Arab women, dressed in full abaya and sheila (yes, in a bar). She was a little better and had a few good jokes, but I still only cracked a smile a few times. In between each of the acts, the Lebanese women came back out and tried to interact with the crowd (not too successfully).

The last act was an Italian-American and she was actually pretty good (relatively speaking). It might have been because I understood the accent better, or because many of the references were American, so I got them, but she had better timing and a bit more variety to her act as well. I still wasn't anywhere near rolling on the floor, but I did laugh out loud once or twice. The whole thing lasted about an hour, and that worked out just fine for me because after that hour, the smoke from the bar was getting to me and I was ready to leave anyway.

The most interesting part of the evening was the security check I had to undergo to get into the Rotana. All cars were stopped before the entrance and searched from top to bottom. I had to open the trunk for them and another guy was walking around the car with a mirror looking under the car. The SUV in front of me was pulled aside and a dog was brought over to walk around the car (for bombs? drugs?) Then, once I entered the hotel, I had to pass through a metal detector and my bag had to go through a screening machine like they have at the airport. Not too much hassle, just very interesting. One of my neighbors found out that there is a big military/defense event going on and a few American VIPs are staying at the hotel for a month. I wonder who? 

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