A Man Of Many Talents: Wayne Brady

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    It came as no surprise when it was announced months ago that the always exuberant Wayne Brady would be the host of the updated version of the game show classic “Let’s Make a Deal,” airing on CBS.

    Brady, one of those naturally upbeat people, always has something going on. If he is off the scene at all, it will be for a very short time.

    It has been that way ever since he first came to the general public’s attention in 1998 when ABC began airing the “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” program.

    It was an improv show; Brady was one of four performers creating characters, scenes and songs on the spot. Interestingly, this was the U.S. version of a show that originated in Britain.

    Doing improvisational comedy requires a special skill and a willingness to take chances. Brady described it as “something that you either have or you don’t. It’s just the way you’re wired. You can’t teach it to someone.”

    IT SEEMS that the omnipresent star, born Wayne Alphonso Brady in 1972 in Orlando, Florida, can do everything.

    His comedic and emceeing skills are well established, but Brady always manages to come up with another surprise.

    For example, he demonstrated impressive dancing skills in the 2004 television special “Motown 45,” while performing an effective rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish.” And last year he was on the national charts with a contemporary R&B album titled “A Long Time Coming.” Sales were not “through the roof” but brisk enough for a second album when the time and circumstances are right.

    “A Long Time Coming” is a fine album. Highlights include “You and Me,” “Back in the Day” and “Ordinary,” as well as a heartfelt rendition of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” a strong interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s “All I Do,” and an intriguing, drastically restructured version of the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

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