It's a fair assumption to expect some degree of stripping when a show's got 'Naked' in the headline—and Papa CJ does not disappoint, pulling off layer after layer in the hour-and-a-half-esque duration of the show. While the audience watches on tenterhooks as he unravels his crisp ensemble, the content of show follows suit (and shirt, and socks) as he strips his life and personality bare to their most vulnerable core.
It's hard to talk about the show without giving away the crackerjack ending, so we'll skirt the intricacies and talk about the tenor of the show. It's not your run-of-the-mill stand-up extravanganza, because, yes, it gets emo—and yes, it works fantastically for it. If you go in expecting surface-deep chuckles, you will be disappointed. Because while he does manage to be incredibly funny (connecting with the audience deeply on a number of levels—driving under the influence, being middle class in India, the idea of arranged marriage, etc), he also goes beyond.
He makes an interesting point in the first half of his show—you laugh at a comic's jokes, but how often do you come away really knowing him? He spends the rest of the show fixing exactly that problem—he takes us through the odyssey of his life—from his shenanigans in boarding school, to college, to finding comedy, and a wife, and love (not necessarily in that order). Every time he exposes a bit of himself, he exposes a little more of himself physically...until he stands before an audience as bare as can be, with a sea of engaged onlookers running laps between laughing riotously and tearing up quietly.
All in all, when you walk away from the auditorium, his life is on your mind. You can't help but talk about what he's been through, how he must have felt, and how strong he would have had to be. Whether what stays with you is the laughter or the tears, the man does accomplish the mission he sets at the start—you come away really knowing the comic.
Catch him on the rest of his India Tour. The dates are:
- 9th Jan Bangalore
- 10th Jan Chennai
- 16th Jan Delhi
- 17th Jan Mumbai
- 23rd Jan Pune
- 24th Jan Hyderabad
- 29th Jan Kolkata