Hooray for another dent in the bucket list! I finally got to see Bill Cosby live! Many thanks to my bestie Shafik and new friends Mel and Dayna who shared the experience with me.
I've been trying to make this happen for the last year and a half. Every Monday, I faithfully checked Bill's webiste for upcoming gigs. One Monday, while I happened to be in Vegas with my bestie, I saw that Bill had a gig coming up in Detroit. A four and a half hour drive was the closest he would be to me for the next year. Shafik and I decided we would go! Since we were going to pass through Windsor to get there we asked Windsorite Iain, my sister-in-law Vanessa's brother, and his fiancee Mel to join us. Iain passed but Mel jumped at the chance as did her friend Dayna. Mel even offered to bring the Jell-o Pudding Pops!
After dinner, in the midst of a food coma, we braved the short walk over to the Astoria Pastry Shop which was filled with sugary treats.
Shafik and I decided to try and eat Peanut Butter Mud Pies. They were really scrumptious but after our amazing dinner we couldn't even finish one between the two of us. Next time we're in Detroit, we'll start at the bakery and then head to Fishbone's.
With bellies full, Mel steered us towards the MotorCity Casino. She was determined to get us there despite the many one way streets in downtown Detroit and perhaps a few inconveniently placed medians which were no match for her. We arrived at to the casino safe and sound and headed to the theatre to see Bill.
Mel, me, Dayna and Shafik! We're going to see Bill!
Waiting for Bill...
And then the lights went out and there was Bill. I'm pretty sure a cross between a squeal and a shreak came out of my mouth. I was so happy! There was no introduction needed as the audience rose to their feet for a standing ovation while Bill flashed his trademark mischevious smile. Donned in a long sleeve t, jogging pants and Crocs, he was hilarious as ever even without one of his trademark colourful sweaters. At 73, Bill shared his experiences as a husband, his views on marriage and relationships and the origins of the battle between men and women with his take on the story of Genesis. For me, the best parts of the night were watching his various expressions. If you are a fan of Bill, Cosby you know what I mean. I tried to capture as many of them as I could with a shaky hand from all the laughter.
I love this expression indicating Bill has either just gotten away with something or is about to deliver the punch line.
Bill's expressive fingers and hands are an important part of his story telling. No one chronicles a story quite like him. To make a point he always injects the right amount of back story, repetition and physical comedy.
One of my favourite things about Bill Cosby is the way he is genuinely appalled by simple human behaviours and interactions.
When Bill is right about something his gestures are huge! He wants you to know that he knows you know he is RIGHT! Here is one of his most memorable poses! He uses this same gesture to express solidarity. On this particular evening, this gesture was meant for all the men in the audience whose wives seek to take offense when they nap on the couch.
Throughout his public career as an actor and comedian, Cosby has always been an activist. At the moment, his heart's work is improving the education system in the US and encouraging young people to seek higher learning. This comes as no surprise to me. I've always seen Bill Cosby as someone who is so generous of heart and spirit. Someone who truly wants people to be the best that they can be. Someone who uses humour to gently remind us that we can do better. My absolute most favourite expression of his is the one below. I love the way his hands are open to receive love and laughter.
Sharing joy, receiving love.
If I get the chance to see Bill again, I will definitely take it! Next up on the bucket list...listening to Maya Angelou...stay tuned!