Witty, genuine, and thoughtful, Michael Shafar is Jewish-ish presents one of Australia’s fastest-rising comedian’s takes on timeless material – love, family, and the thing about airlines – with a kosher twist. He’s had sold out shows in Melbourne, and I was lucky enough to catch him at the Factory Theatre as part of Sydney’s Fringe Comedy festival.
Performing in a converted shipping container is no small feat, but Shafar rose to the occasion magnificently, delivering an intimate performance. While he’s not as much of an audience conversationalist as, say, Adam Hills, he managed to find ways to connect with us throughout his set that brought out the best in his humour. Whether it was his reaching out to everyone who’d studied law or even just those of us who’d grown up with immigrant grandparents, the little connections Shafar established made the rest of his material sparkle just that little bit more.
While he’s still young and relatively new on the Australian comedy scene, it’s easy to see why he’s been referred to as a rising star — Shafar has all the hallmarks of a great comedian. Although his material didn’t take on anything too controversial, his jokes were well-crafted and felt fresh, and like any good comedian, he was not above poking fun at himself. He’d also mastered concise storytelling – the show’s short, but sweet, and Shafar clearly knew when to let a joke go and how to make the most of his (and his audience’s) time.
Jewish-ish is a great show in the best tradition of what Sydney Fringe Comedy has to offer, and I enjoyed it immensely. Shafar only had a short run this year, but he’s definitely a comedian to keep an eye on – I for one can’t wait to know when and where he’ll be performing next. Easily four and a half out of five stars (of David, naturally).
Writer, blogger, and appreciator of fine, hand-crafted artisanal comedy.