Billy T Jams  3rd March 2017 Rangitira Q Theatre
MC Matt Okine, Nominees Ray O'Leary, Patch Lambert, Paul Williams, Li'i Alimoana, Angella Dravid and 2016 Billy T winner David Correos.

The Billy T Jams is basically a showcase for the Billy T nominees to preview their festival shows.

The guest MC for the night was Australian comedian Matt Okine (Also appearing in this years festival). Very funny comic who started off explaining how people struggle to see him as Australian due to his father being from Ghana. He reminded me (and others) very much of Auckland comic Dave McCartney.

Leading off the Billy T nominees was Wellington’s (now Auckland based) Ray O’Leary. As I have said before Ray looks like a homeless man in a suit. A good writer who twists the mundane into the absurd.

Next up was Patch Lambert. A product of the Hutt valley Patch is the most experienced of this years nominees and it shows by his stage presence. The loveable little scruff showed that whilst being a father he is still really just a big child at heart with his hilarious stories finished off with a crazy Yoda impression.

The first half of the show was finished off by Aucklander Paul Williams. Paul, who looked like he was dressed for the Oscars, started off with straight stand up with clever funny jokes before sitting behind a keyboard and delivery a song about a trip to New York City. He had an accompanying track providing some additional music and allowed him to harmonise with himself. This allowed him leave the keyboard and move into tap dancing. Did seem like he was trying to cram too much into his ten minutes but in an hour show the theatrical style will work a lot better.

First after the break was another Wellington comic Li’i Alimoana. Funny stories of the awkwardness of a large family (5 year olds invading intimate times). Also a talented musician (plays guitar and keyboards) Li’i bought out his guitar for a comedy song that ended up in a audience sing-along.

Last of the nominees as Angella Dravid. As seen on TVs “Funny Girls” and “Jono And Ben” Angella is the queen of nervous awkwardness. She has a razor sharp wit and unique style. Angella hits with great jokes seemingly coming from out of nowhere and everywhere.

The show was headlined by 2017 Billy T winner David Correos. David often starts off with telling the audience that “this sh!ts gonna get weird” but tonight he skipped the warning and took his weirdness to a whole new level. The crowd were shocked, entertained and often convulsing with laughter. David’s shows are usually a mixture of jokes and stories leading into comedic performance art, but tonight he called himself an artist and boy did perform leaving both himself and the audience breathless.

A great nights entertainment. Come the festival the judges will have a difficult time picking a winner. I have a couple of front runners in mind but then I am not one of the judges