Sheng Wang: Sweet and Juicy

3 out of 5

Directed by: Ali Wong

An hour long set from Sheng Wang, comic and writer on Fresh Off the Boat.

Well directed and paced, while Sheng’s deadpan style never quite delivers any fall-off-your-seat-laughing moments, and his list of topics pulls from everyday Seinfeldisms, he tends to sprinkle his runs with just a dose of surrealism that can take the jokes in unexpected directions, as well as injecting a very balanced cultural POV – the comedy is very accessible, but informed by his Taiwanese American heritage. Towards the end of the hour, you can feel the material getting a bit thin – flow from topic to topic isn’t as seamless – but as Wang maintains a calming patter throughout, the occasions where he gets enthused about something remaining engaging, and he spaces them well across the hour. Ali Wong’s direction is neither showy or static, giving the performance enough “movement” to either mimic or add to Sheng’s stage pacing, and minimizing changes in closeups so that, again, the performance remains intimate without breaking the already limited immersion of watching from home.