Can I Get an Amen?! is not really a comedy show at all, but is in actual fact a motivational sermon, or so leopard-leotard and glitter makeup-adorned Kaitlyn Rogers wants us to believe. And she isn’t preaching about any messiah we might anticipate. Her inspiration is the one and only Whoopi Goldberg. Why not? The objective of tonight’s sermon: to release our inner sass.
As the title suggests, this is a show that targets a fairly particular audience (the subtitle is a reference to TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race) and specific references permeate the set, from Destiny’s Child members to Australian Idol contestants to single lines of dialogue from various Goldberg films—one or two that only mega-fans might appreciate. But if you’re at least on the fringes of this intended demographic, Rogers does not let you down.
The Australian comic inhabits an exaggerated persona for almost the entirety of the show. She lunges across the stage, performs choreographed movements and routines, and maintains focused eye contact with members of the audience, completely filling her small venue space. Rogers is also her own DJ—which she pokes fun at—and even treats us to some perfectly-rehearsed and deliberately dodgy rapping at various points. This is clearly an outcast character but one who has utter self-confidence and enthusiasm for just about everything, and because of this, she is also completely endearing in her childlike excitability. She even makes the audience participation easy with her infectious exuberance.
Although the structure of the show might benefit from some balancing and tightening, Rogers cleverly knows when to dial back the crazy, and unmasks herself just a little, reliving one or two exposing memories with the audience. Is this still the character or the comic herself? Does it matter? Rogers suddenly probes us to take her feisty message a little more seriously as she (briefly) explores sexism in comedy and misogyny in general, asking us to channel our inner Whoopis and push ourselves further.
Again, this is definitely a niche show whose references and quotations might be lost on some. But for its target market, Rogers’s show is completely entertaining, funny and a bit mad. She is a sassy star to keep an eye on.