Rahway, NJ—Built-in 1928, the historic Union County Performing Arts Center is rich in history and culture. This timeless theater has tremendous historical significance, but it has also made a huge impact in the community as a music venue, classic film palace, comedy venue, and much more. It is a nice intimate venue where every seat in the house is a good one.
On Saturday night, three extra-ordinary comedians blessed the stage with their comedic monologues that kept the audience laughing the entire night.
Rita Brent (Opened Up The Show)
Brent is a comedian, musician, and military veteran from Jackson, Mississippi. She discovered her love for music as a young girl performing in talent shows and Southern Baptist churches as a drummer alongside her mother and singer-pianist, Angela. She credits her mother as the one who helped cultivate and support her talents. At age 18, she joined the 41st Army National Guard Band where she served for nine years and ended her time in service as a sergeant. Rita graduated from Jackson State University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass and Speech Communication, and pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
After graduating from JSU she landed at Mississippi Public Broadcasting where she served as a Radio Host and Producer. In March 2013, Rita tried a her luck as a stand-up comedian. Since then, she’s been featured on Kevin Hart’s Hart of the City, TruTV’s Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks, and Epix TV’s Unprotected Sets. Rita has released three singles, “Kamala,” “Raised in the Sipp,” and “I Deserve to Be Alive”. She currently tours as a feature act with her mentors, Rickey Smiley and Cedric the Entertainer. Rita wrote for the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards and works as a staff writer for Comedy Central’s “Tha God’s Honest Truth With Lenard “Charlamagne” McKelvey”.
The plight of Oprah Winfrey’s past-molestation, racism, abandonment, and sexism encouraged her to persevere. “People always criticize her for catering to all races during her climb, but I admire her for it. I love me some Oprah!! “You get a car and YOU get a car, bihhhh!” she joked.
Jeremiah (J.J.) Williamson was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. He currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Hard work and enthusiasm has skyrocketed J.J. into a very successful career in the entertainment industry. His ability to move the crowd with consistent delivery has helped him achieve national exposure and support in the field. J.J. continues to be one of the most sought after rising stars in the industry today. Through his tenacity and willingness to perpetuate his talent to its highest level of excellence, J.J. is rapidly becoming nationally known and requested for both his comedy and acting abilities.
J.J.’s devotion to his craft has indeed paid off. He has worked with comedy giants such as Chris Tucker, D.L. Hughley, Rickey Smiley and Bruce Bruce. He has electrified stages across the country with Cedric “The Entertainer” during summer tours and also graced the stages and entertained thousands at numerous popular venues such as the Los Angeles Improv, Miami Improv, the Chicago House of Blues, Caroline’s of New York, the Comedy Store of Los Angeles, the Universal Amphitheater of Los Angeles and the Palace Theaters in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio and many more.
JJ pronunciation and sayings are the best, “I Pre-C-8 Dees Few Giggles Ya’ll Givin A Brotha”. That statement alone, along with his ability to keep it real, has the audience wanting to come back for more laughs. There is no limit to the talent that J.J. displays on the stage. J.J.’s realism gets you laughing and all you want to do is to hear more..”Az-U-Should”.
Cedric The Entertainer (Closed It Out)
Cedric Antonio Kyles (born April 24, 1964), better known by his stage name Cedric the Entertainer, is an American actor, stand-up comedian, and game show host. He hosted BET’s Comic View during the 1993–1994 season and Def Comedy Jam in 1995. He is best known for co-starring with Steve Harvey on The WB sitcom The Steve Harvey Show as one of The Original Kings of Comedy, and for starring as Eddie Walker in Barbershop. He hosted the 12th season of the daytime version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in 2013–14 and starred in the TV Land original series The Soul Man, which aired from 2012 to 2016. He has also done voice work for Ice Age, the Madagascar film series, Charlotte’s Web , Planes and Planes: Fire & Rescue. He currently stars on the CBS sitcom The Neighborhood. Lastly in 2019, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Ced’s best one liners of the evening were being scared he might get caught up in Bill Cosby’s slander despite his having done nothing wrong — “When they got Bill Cosby, I was like, ‘Oh, shit'” — to a bit where he had to fake knowing Russell Simmons to TMZ so he wouldn’t have to answer for his buddy’s transgressions.
The most impressive part of Cedric’s showcase is his talent for physical comedy. He has a great voice, gets his dance on to a R- Kelly jam like nobodies business and his impression of his homeboy wearing Shape Ups shoes to the club will have you laughing in tears.
This was one of the best comedy shows 4.0 Sports and Entertainment had the pleasure of reviewing. The entire group of comedians were so hysterically funny, it was hard to pick a favorite. Definitely a show to see!