By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo (www.entertainmentgh.com)
Revered playwright, Ebo Whyte’s announcement to alter the status quo with an unexpected ‘One Man Show’, a never-done-before stand-up comedy elicited varied reactions; ambivalence and cynicism. The only person who had an aura of optimism was Ebo Whyte and of course, his legion of Roverman lieutenants.
I was in that group of patrons who were uncertain of how the venerated director/producer would fare and like many, my anticipation was on some fever pitch.
I stepped out of the auditorium knowing that the Ebo Whyte has jokes, has energy for a 60-something year old but heck, he cannot sing to save his life and sucks at dancing too!
Was I overwhelmingly awed? Not quite. Was there any shred of disappointment etched on my face after the show? I didn’t feel it. Was I gratified with what I witnessed? Definitely! Would I recommended any other person to go watch? Yes!
Ebo Whyte’s ‘Crazy Ride’ was a stand-up laced in a quintessential Roverman Productions style; quality singing, classy dancing, eye-catching set, and complemented by that typical impressive timing, coordination and communication between performers and production crew.
His entry and exit as a performer were better than the contemporary artists in the country; putting in such effort to accentuate the notion that it is imperative for every performer to make the entry quite memorable and as I pen this review, I still see how he introduced himself in a Sarkodie-esque kind of entry and exited the stage like a performer at the Microsoft Center In Los Angeles.
Ebo Whyte’s effort in trying something he has not attempted before is commendable and albeit having some enthralling and nadir moments, it was a good and appreciable performance.
He exhibited a negligible level of nerves and his demeanour on stage was on-point; making use of the stage, utilizing every prop well, and engaging his audience as a true professional. The cadences of his performance were telling but it is understandable, considering he had to sing, do push-ups, and prance around and still offer jokes.
His offering on every man having a script in his mind, the ‘God is good’ jibe, WNN (Women’s News Network), that on weed, some Bible interpretations and his growing up as a boxer were some of his material that hit home perfectly.
The reggae performance, the gospel rendition of a reggae tune, his comparison of the old and new generation with a power point presentation, although innovative, were some of the low points – which failed to resonate with the audience.
The push-ups done for patrons to send a message to the naysayers about him falling on his face was not necessary, especially when he only attempted 2 push-ups. Next time, he should try 10 – that might work!
There’s nothing glowing to paint about his singing prowess, regardless of the fact that, it was his first time singing to an audience, and JB and Dominic Ansah Asare of TV3 Mentor fame, who were said to have prepped him, obviously failed in that regard. Dancing? Clearly, the ‘big’ man can’t dance but approbations to him for trying – he is better than most.
‘Crazy Ride’ presents another dimension to an accomplished gentleman and it was refreshing to see him try and do well in a venture never-done-before and surely, he did not under-perform.
The show continues to show at the National Theatre, this Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9, 4pm and 8pm respectively.