When you are a Pacific Islander and you read a Pacific Island name on a big sign outside a building you feel almost compelled to go and cheer them on. I was lucky enough to be able to go and cheer on a fellow P.I. and Billy T Award Nominee for 2017 at his comedy show at Vault at the Q Theatre and what an experience it was!
We were greeted with a keyboard, guitar and microphone. Vault is such an intimate atmosphere so it felt like we were all mates hanging out in front of a stage. Li’i began the show with some ambient music via his keyboard. This was mixed with a whole lot of giggles about various day to day activities such as bringing in the washing and doing dishes whilst dealing with emotional blackmail from your wife. Very very very VERY relatable (or so my husband says). Li’i then introduces his show with a kind of trigger warning. It is based on some very personal experiences. The type that your every day Pacific Islander is no stranger to and this sort of brings the mood of the room to a different level. It is very sobering to see a male bare a part of himself like that and it was appreciated.
The show continues on with lots of jokes that had me in complete fits. Discussions about growing up and watching your parents and their dance moves had me back in the garage watching my family members drinking and dancing. The sprinkler one of my all time favs was performed and this had me in stitches. The atmosphere was lifted when Li’i played a game with one yawning audience member who happened to be front and centre in the seating. Li’i has quick humour and drew on the audience for a few unplanned but very effective laughs. The use of music was impressive and fun. His whole demeanour is so relatable and he truly is hilarious!
His timing and presentation isn’t that of your everyday comedian. He almost seemed like the funny uncle whose jokes you can always rely on to get the party started and keep the party going. In fact he seemed like the uncle who would be the last man standing at a party! Li’i gives you a show that you can relate to as a parent, a single person, a Pacific Islander, a Palagi and even as a kid I am pretty sure you could relate to and laugh at some of his outrageous island humour. There was a lot to love about seeing a fellow brown person on stage commanding and demanding the respect he deserves. Li’i shows us that we can follow our dreams and be something great whilst also being our loud brown and proud selves. What a show!
You can watch some of his more casual funny stuff right here.