Wayne Brady brings improv to the Whiting

FLINT — Comedy improvisational actor and host of “Let’s Make a Deal,” Wayne Brady is bringing his act for the first time to The Whiting Feb. 11 at 8 p.m.

Joining Brady is his announcer and sidekick Jonathan Mangum, and his “oneman band” Cat Gray on keyboard to deliver what Brady calls “a 100-percent improvisational” show.

Brady said the show will be even more improvisational than his claim to fame show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” that Drew Carey hosted beginning in the late ‘90s.

“I take it a step further,” said Brady. “An audience member will think of a title of a song that doesn’t exist, like ‘My Grandma Fell and Broke Her Hip’ and do it as U2.”

He prefers performing live to television, although he likes being able to watch his performances to see what works or doesn’t before it airs.

“I get so jazzed from that (improv). There’s no foolin,” said Brady. “If people come to see you live, you can’t fool them. They see it’s not a magic trick. It’s live; immediate; now; instant gratification. You know if an audience likes you, there’s no TiVo.”

Anyone familiar with Brady knows he’s not only funny; he’s vocally talented and equally dramatic. He’s quite capable of moving you emotionally and leaving you tongue-in-cheek. Though he’s well capable of deadpan humor, he too enjoys a good laugh.

“Jonathan makes me laugh all the time. ‘Smart’ makes me laugh,” says Brady. And though he prefers wit to slapstick, he enjoys laughing at himself.

“If something goes over my head and I had to think about it…THAT makes me laugh,” he says, and enjoys laughing at himself.

While Brady is known for his somewhat squeaky-clean decorum, and even mocked that label in his infamous skit on the “Dave Chapelle Show,” he does warn that the show can be of adult humor and he wouldn’t necessarily bring a six or 10- year-old.

“It really depends on the type of people who show up” he says and safely describes it as “PG-13.”

Brady started singing and acting at 16 and then added improvisational theater to his repertoire. He said he’s been building his resume ever since and was a singer on a cruise ship, an amusement park and commercial jingles. In addition to Broadway and Vegas, he’s also hosted, “Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” and has guest starred on “30 Rock,” “WWE Monday Night Raw,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Dirt,” and “Everybody Hates Chris.” He also hosted his own syndicated talk show “The Wayne Brady Show” for two years and won two Emmys® for the variety show itself and as show host.

Brady embraces the fact that his type of work is fun and though he does find time to read and build things with his daughter, he says he spends a lot of time “being creative.”

That creativity helped him fulfill his dream of releasing an album, which he did titled, “Long Time Coming” that includes a variety of old-school and R & B tracks, and another titled “Radio Wayne,” a children’s album with positive influences for children and parents alike. He says his next release will be in September.

Brady’s versatility as an entertainer always meets audience expectations. Tickets can be purchased online at TheWhiting.com, by phone at 810-237- 7333 or (888) 8-Center and at The Whiting Ticket Center at 1241 E. Kearsley St. in Flint. Ask about the Valentine’s Dinner Package that includes preferred seating, dinner at Fandangles’ and a pre show drink and dessert.

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