Theater Review : Chico Bean @ The Theater At MGM
Comedian Chico Bean performed at The Theater At MGM in Oxon Hill, MD, on April 29th, delivering a mix of social commentary and humor. The Washington, D.C. native has built an impressive following since getting his start in comedy before he could legally drink. Bean first caught my attention during Season 5 of "Wild'N'Out". I had previously seen his 85 South Show counterparts DC Young Fly and Karlous Miller live, so I had to give Chico a chance.
Walking into the venue, local radio DJ Akademiks warmed the crowd up as the show was a bit behind schedule. At around 8:30, the first comedian of the night took the stage. Fat Marcoo was a dynamic and enthusiastic performer on stage, delivering a series of jokes about the DMV and his weight. His presence was engaging and kept the audience entertained throughout his set. Marcoo closed out his set by letting the audience know they can do anything they want in life, and I look forward to seeing him grow in comedy.
Up next was Osamabidrankin, who regularly tours with Chico. The comedian's actual name is Gerard Rankin Sr. He had a more seasoned vibe than the opener, with a style that focused on life experience and the difference between generations. Rankin delivered his jokes rapidly and used the entire stage as a prop. Rankin displayed remarkable skill in the art of profanity while occasionally being vulgar, indicating his mastery of the craft. His adeptness in using profanity to ease tension, lighten the mood, or entertain people was evident, and he accomplished it efficiently.
Finally, it was time for the man of the hour. Bean made his entrance in a dapper two-piece suit taking the stage as a seasoned pro. Given that Bean grew up in Chocolate City, there were jokes in his set that focused on life in D.C. before gentrification. Those who grew up in this area know that Bean's entire set could have been about the good ole days.
While it was great to hear Bean's name drop the IBEX and slang terms from back in the day, Bean spent only a little time on that topic. Bean's set included everything from jokes about being a dad to the internet and dating. Bean's celebrity has risen, and I thought there would be a bit of a roast about some of the famous folks he's met. However, that never occurred as he primarily treated the crowd to his myriad of comedic improvisation.
As the night began to wind down, Bean took to Instagram Live and asked the audience to light up their phones. The attendees did so easily, and it was clear that Bean was embodying one of my favorite Barrack Obama quotes, "One voice can change a room."
Final Grade: B+
Don't worry if you missed Bean's performance this time, as he will be returning on Saturday, June 10th, at the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena in Baltimore, MD, as part of the 85 South Show Live with DC Young Fly and Karlous Miller. You can purchase tickets for the event through Ticketmaster.