Comedian Sara Schaefer performed to a sold-out crowd for the Majestic Theatre’s first Corvallis Comedy Night on Friday, October 20.
Schaefer first introduced herself by dancing across the stage, to the point of proclaimed exhaustion – the audience clapping to the beat until Schaefer was wheezing into the mic.
Schaefer’s set weaved through personal stories and cultural trends. While she got lots of laughs, she was also able to give the audience a range of emotional experiences. At one point, some in the audience had an “aww, that’s sweet,” moment after Schaefer told how her boyfriend had made a spear out of bamboo to keep at her bedside to soothe her night terrors.
Most of Schaefer’s stories ended in a weird place like this.
Schaefer weaved the personal and the cultural together most succinctly when she shared experiences related to her upbringing as a Southern Baptist.
During the last night of Bible camp, Schaefer recalled a very somber beginning to the evening. This changed quickly when two clowns came out, which was already strange enough. It kept getting stranger as the clowns began miming the life story of Jesus to contemporary Christian music.
Despite the absurdity of it, Schaefer and several others were deeply moved, and Schaefer threw out her Pearl Jam CDs as soon as she got home.
Widening her perspective for a moment, Schaefer described her guilt-induced response as one example of how Christians can push people too far into losing perspective on what’s important. Was her getting rid of Pearl Jam really going to make her a better person?
Schaefer still feels that Christianity shaped her in important ways, as she still seeks to live a pure life. She’s just transferred most of those efforts over to living up to her liberal ideals.
Portlander Mohanad Elshieky opened for Schaefer. Elshieky shared his observations since moving to Portland three years ago from Benghazi, Libya. He shared his experiences at the airport where the TSA agent began speaking to him in Spanish. He thought it best not correct the agent in this case and tell him that he was actually Muslim.
Since the first Corvallis Comedy Night was such a success, another comedian is in the works for a January show.
By Andy Hahn