"It kind of feels like we're in a series finale," Aparna Nancherla said, addressing the U.S. presidential election at the top of her set, then never referencing it again. The New York comic didn't show up in Halifax with a ton of new material and instead performed some of the strongest pieces from her latest album, 2016's Just Putting it Out There.
As expected, her dry, road-tested stuff landed well here, offering the uninitiated a trip through her troubled psyche. She was frank and funny about her struggles with depression and how she copes with it, acting out her bits about spilling pills in public or waking up from naps and treating waking life as if it's the scene of some slacker crime. She deftly talked about women's self-esteem issues with a series of stories about catcalling that made the offenders sound like morons, which was funny.
If she faltered — and by her own admission, she did — it was trying out a bit about being described as "birdlike" in a review that didn't quite come together. It seemed to be some kind of thin-skinned revenge ploy that didn't totally bomb but prompted her to conclude, "Yeah, that was new and I feel like we all felt it." We did, but we also saw a truly sharp, self-effacing standup in Aparna Nancherla.