M-M-M-My Sharia

The unifying theme for the Arabs Gone Wild comedy tour seems to be “We’re here, we’re brown, and we’ve got our own crazy families and real-life shit to deal with, so get over it already, white America.” Dean Obeidallah and Aron Kader’s previous Bush-era revue, the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, was politicized by its very existence, but the comics are just as eager to joke about the travails of Arab-American life. At a time when people are freaking out over the placement of mosques and Oklahoma is shielding its trailer park denizens from the nonexistent threat of Sharia Law, even observational jokes about annoying Muslim relatives have a political charge to them. Born to a Palestinian father and a Mormon mother, Kader skewers the Arab side of his family as well as members of the LDS with equal relish. In a bit about the Mormon missionaries who tried to recruit him as a teenager, he jokes, “To an Arab, a mission is a whole different deal. Generally, we don't come back from those.” Obeidallah, of Palestinian and Italian descent, is more directly political than Kader. His satirical take on prejudice and stereotypes earned him the first Spirit of Bill Hicks award from the NY Underground Comedy Festival. Rounding out the bill is Maysoon Zayid, who self-identifies as a “Palestinian Muslim virgin with cerebral palsy from New Jersey”, but has no time for self-pity -- or anyone else’s, for that matter. All three comics share an American background, and they are defiantly and hilariously representing the changing face of comedy in this country.
March 24-27, 8 p.m., 2011

 
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