British comedian and actress Gina Yashere is making waves across the U.S. and United Kingdom with her new Woman King of Comedy tour, which will be making a stop at the Majestic Theatre in Detroit on July 22, 2023.
Yashere has been showcasing her unique sense of humor, which is part “biographical” and part “observational,” in the U.S. for the last 16 years. Her shows often recount the stories of her life and how people can relate to the virtue of who she is, which she says appeals to a wide audience.
“My audience is anybody with a sense of humor,” the London native explains. “There is a vast mix of people, old, young, black, white, gay, straight, or non-binary. I am like your funny crazy next door neighbor.”
Having been a storyteller since childhood, Yashere developed an interest in comedy when she discovered that it offered her a way to get her story out without censorship or editing. It was also a way for her to meet people around the world.
“[Comedy] combines some of the best things that I love in life: meeting people and traveling,” she says. “People who want to come and hear me talk is the icing on the cake.”
Her new Woman King of Comedy tour is based on the movie, Woman King, which focuses on the Agojie, an African tribe that is protected by a unit of female warriors that is not far from where her own parents were born and raised.
“The show encompasses everything from my birth to how I made it in America to how I got a sitcom on TV coming from London,” she says. “[It’s] the stories of what my life is up until this point but with jokes.”
In addition to stories about her own life, showgoers can also expect a little bit of local flair incorporated into the show.
“Whenever I go to a different city, I don’t just do the same set,” she says. “I like to walk around the cities, do a little bit of research, pick up local slang, and incorporate that into the show.”
“I am not focusing on anything particular,” she adds. “I walk around and just let the ambiance soak in.”
While she’ll undoubtedly do a walkaround ahead of the July show, it won’t be the first time Yashere has been in or around the Motor City. In fact, she’s performed for a Nigerian audience in Farmington Hills, and also created and acted in the show, Bob Hearts Abishola, which follows a wealthy businessman from Detroit who has a heart attack and falls in love with the Nigerian nurse who is looking after him.
“I based it in Detroit because I was there a year before doing the show,” Yashere explains. “I met a bunch of Nigerians and I found there were a lot of Nigerians in Detroit, [so] there is a rich history and [it’s] a great place to base the show in.”
She adds that she’s looking forward to returning to the city to see how locals feel about the show and see if accurately portrayed the city.
“[Bob Hearts Abishola] follows the hilarity of two cultures coming together and I want to get a feel of what the audience thinks of the show and how they feel about the fact it was based there,” she says.
Gina Yashere is bringing her Woman King of Comedy tour to the Majestic Theatre in Detroit on July 22. Doors open at 7 p.m.