IVINS – Tuacahn presented “An Evening with Bill Cosby” Friday night to a welcoming crowd nestled into its unparalleled burnt red rock natural amphitheatre. The ageless comedian, dressed comfortably casual in a navy “Tuacahn Amphitheatre” sweatshirt block-lettered “HELLO FRIEND” across the chest, held the audience’s full attention, unmoved by a cool breeze and moderate temperatures in the high 50s.
On arrival, many were relegated to parking far from the main venue as the audience turnout overflowed both the amphitheatre and the parking lots.
“It’s the busiest I’ve ever seen the Tuacahn,” a Fabulous Freddy’s valet servicing the event said.
Parking nuisances were quickly forgotten as the show opened to the warm and engaging, wry wit of Bill Cosby.
On arriving in Utah, Cosby shared that he had met two young men who “had been sent back from Russia” – in his perfect comedic timing, he puzzled, he paused and paused some more – until a collective understanding dawned over the audience that the men were returning from missionary service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
After teasing the local demographic, Cosby – renown for his landmark impact on Television history in the mid-1980s with The Cosby Show about an all American African-American family – moved on to toy with his own wife, family, kids and grandkids through a series of tales and anecdotes that resonated at some point or another with all present.
“He’s still got it, and a real master at his work,” Leif Baron said, who had traveled from Fredonia just for this show.
Cosby, 75, would ramble on about this and that and mumble something about being old; then he would stop and address the sea of faces before him: “Let’s talk about dementia …,” he said, and, of course, everybody laughed – particularly since the crowd composite was weighted toward the more mature generations.
Talking about kids, “its not just us,” Cosby said, “ever ask a kid to do something and, five minutes later, he’s out playing in the yard not doing what you asked?” When confronted, Cosby said, there’s a blank look on the kid’s face and he shrugs his shoulders – “Yeah, well quit passing off dementia on just us old folks!” he said.
And characteristically, Cosby isn’t Cosby without his jokes about passing wind. He had men and women alike rolling, he talked about his wife – and what wife wants to be discussed in this way? – when they were first married, he said, she actually blamed the dog, looking under the bed, concerning one of those moments. He said that was one of his funniest moments.
The beloved comedian may be aging but his delivery is the same as it’s always been. One might think it was some “old guy” doing an impression of Bill Cosby. But it wasn’t an impressionist, it was him – the one Bill Cosby of time – timeless at Tuacahn for one night.
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St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.
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