Ready for Takeoff

A few weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Shazia Mirza, a Muslim woman raised by Pakistani parents in England, was performing stand-up comedy. Wearing her hijab, the traditional Muslim headscarf, Mirza began her act by stating her name and adding “... at least that’s what it says on my pilot’s license.” (Whoa!) Mirza, who studied biochemistry and had a day job teaching high school science, had performed in small clubs around London. But after that night, her comedy career took off. She won an award at the London Comedy Festival, performed throughout Europe, was profiled on 60 Minutes, and was a semifinalist on Last Comic Standing. Mirza has written for the New Statesman and now has a weekly column at the Guardian (no, not that Guardian) called “Diary of a Disappointing Daughter.” Perhaps predictably for any comedian doing controversial material, Mirza has been called the “Lenny Bruce of female stand-up.” But she’s not. She’s Shazia Mirza. At least that’s what it says on her pilot’s license.
Tue., Oct. 18, 8 p.m., 2011

 
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