mike-epps_web.jpgMIAMI BEACH — Nationally acclaimed comedian Mike Epps kicked off the Memorial Day weekend with a live, up-close performance on Friday, May 22 at The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater.

Best known for his on-screen stints in Next Friday, All About the Benjamins, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins and Friday after Next, Epps has truly made his mark on the comedy genre.  

As the crowd slowly made their way to their seats, DJ Effect blared the latest in hip hop and R&B just to rev up the place. An hour passed, and people were still trickling in while some were getting anxious in their seats, awaiting show time. 

A group of local ladies decided to create their own little dance session at the corner of the theatre, just to keep the place livened up.  

In a matter of minutes, local comedian and radio personality Benji Brown opened the show. Known for his impressions of  “ghetto Miami girls,’’ he had the place rolling and falling out of their seats as he joked on everything from only having $2 to fill up your tank at the gas station to thug-life relationships. 

After comedian Henry Welch from Atlanta took the stage for a few minutes, it was time for the man of the hour…Mike Epps! 

Running out on the stage clad in a pair of blue jeans with a white, cuffed and collared shirt, Epps drew laughs just from how silly he looked.  

But don’t let the silly demeanor fool you. Epps has genuine comedic skills and a long resume to prove it. His talents have led him to big screen features, where he’s worked with actors Eddie Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Carey and Jamie Foxx.  

His current film, Next Day Air, just opened in theaters on Friday, May 8, and has thus far received rave reviews.  

As the show at the Fillmore went on and the jokes poured out, it was all seemingly worth the wait to see Epps do his thing. He talked about black mothers taking “no mess,’’ and even represented some of the country’s hottest destinations.  

With only one person clapping when he shouted out Los Angeles, he joked that because of the recession, one would have to find someone to cosign for the cost of that long flight from Los Angeles to Miami.  

In between sets, he had famed New York City-based DJ Kid Capri come on the stage to give a hip-hop song tribute to “Big Girls.’’  

Though there were quite a few empty seats in the theater, the laughter filled the room as if the show was sold out. As he thanked everyone for coming and walked off stage, he knew he had done it again…achieved comedic greatness.   


Photo by Sayre Berman. Mike Epps