On Saturday night, Dallas-native and Greenhill School grad, comedian Iliza Shlesinger stopped at Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie on her “Back in Action” tour. After a delay due to an accident and terrible parking arrangements at the venue, the 38-year-old jogged on stage, pregnant and energetic, wearing her own merch T-shirt.
This was my first big indoor event since Covid-19 became a thing. The 6,000-seat theater was pretty packed by the time everyone trickled in. Masks were not required, as proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test had to be shown before entering the building. Being in the front section, we were seated right in the middle of four sets of strangers. Still a bit anxious (even though I’m vaccinated) and then seeing a few others in the crowd doing the same, I wore my mask for the entire show. But that didn’t stop me from laughing, a lot.
Shlesinger has been around the comedy scene for a while now. She actually filmed her first Netflix special in 2013, War Paint, at Dallas’ Lakewood Theater. Most recently, she wrote and produced her first movie, Good on Paper. It was released on Netflix earlier this year.
Shlesinger started the show by doing something she does best, making fun of herself. She walked around like “The Grinch,” highlighting that she’s about five months pregnant. Joking about everything from pregnancy to bras and “Karens,” her funniest bits were the voices she has perfected for the stage. The audience couldn’t stop laughing when she acted out a girl on a date, going into the bathroom and completely melting down. Shlesinger fans know her “Party Goblin” bit well, but in this scenario, she created a “Gross Fairy.” I hope it’s in her next special.
Overall, the show was a hit. Shlesinger, a Texan herself, also wasn’t afraid to bring up the state’s abortion and gun issues. One message everyone could agree on: live stand-up comedy is back was back, at least for the moment. Go to shows where we can all laugh together again, even if it’s through a mask.