Sykes Sells Out

Whoever said you can’t go home again wasn’t with Billy Masters last week.  As you know, I frequently visit the ancestral Masters Manor in Medford, Massachusetts.  In recent years, the city has rehabilitated Chevalier Auditorium, which was once part of the old high school.  Your beloved Billy spent countless hours of his childhood in this 1,900-seat venue, which is once again playing host to numerous acts of high regard.  I suspect that these people are told that they’re playing in the “sixth largest theatre in the Metropolitan Boston area”.  Then they get out of the car and say, “What the fuck is a Medford?”  When I saw that Wanda Sykes was there as part of the 9th Annual Women in Comedy Festival, I knew it was a perfect time for us both to revisit our pasts.  For me, I got to roam around a theatre that played a big part in my life.  For Wanda, the memories may have been less pleasant.  Her last Boston gig was the 2016 Comics Come Home benefit, where she was roundly booed for her anti-Trump stance.  Now, in 2018, she had a new problem.  On the morning of the show, she woke up with no voice whatsoever.  But, being in Boston, she was able to go to Mass General Hospital and see the same doctor who treated Adele!  And that’s how, even with diminished vocal abilities, Miss Sykes got through a 90-minute set.  She was surely bolstered by the sold-out audience who cheered her on.  A few times she struggled and apologized, only to be met with calls of “We love you, Wanda”.  A great night for comedy, and a true exhibition of triumph of the human spirit.

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