Undermain Theatre’s ‘The Shipment’ delivers big laughs, relevant issues

There’s nothing quite like seeing “The Shipment” at Undermain Theatre. This 'variety show' has dancing, stand-up comedy and skits that have side-splitting laughs and biting messages.

The audience is given several warnings before the show begins that some of the material might be offensive. This should not fall on deaf ears, because there is more cursing, drug references and blatant discussion of racism in this show than it should be possible to pack into 85 minutes.

Exploring the topic of racism is not an especially original idea for a show that received its world premiere in 2008. It seems that everywhere you turn, someone is being accused of being a racist, or a 'backward racist.'

But Young Jean Lee’s show is a reminder that America hasn’t finished wrestling with this issue yet, and that maybe it's time we all laugh at ourselves.

The five-actor cast contains some of the funniest performances in Dallas this season. Director Stan Wojewodski Jr. deserves some serious praise for not only pulling pitch-perfect comedic timing from these young actors, but also for controlling the satirical sketches from becoming boisterous nonsense.

The actors are new to the Undermain stage and each of them proves that they are a force to be reckoned with. In the five sections of this show there is no weak link. Adam A. Anderson, an undergraduate student at Southern Methodist University, stays light on his feet in everything from a vaudevillian dance to standout performances in the skits and final scene.

Akron Watson and Adam A. Anderson star in "The Shipment" onstage at Undermain Theatre through June 25.

Akron Watson gives a stand-up routine funny enough for any comedy club. Beverly Johnson plays every woman in the show; Chris Piper also jumps seamlessly from dance to sketch. And David Jeremiah’s performances in both the skits and the final scenes will blow you away.

What I’m saying is: this is a must-see show.

If you’re looking for something entertaining, thought provoking and surprising- don’t miss “The Shipment” at Undermain. Onstage through June 25. Located at 3200 Main St. Wednesdays, Thursdays $15, Fridays $20, Saturdays $25.

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