“Look At You” follows Taylor Tomlinson’s 2020 Netflix breakout special “Quarter-Life Crisis.” Andrew Levy/Netflix

TV and internet appearances, leading to two well-received Netflix specials, helped lift Taylor Tomlinson to the top echelon of the current stand-up comedy scene. The 28-year-old California native has a sort of cute, youngish charm matched with a devilishly sharp wit that appeals to many with a taste for exploring what’s funny about the personal side of contemporary life.

Local comedy fans quickly snapped up all the tickets after they learned that Tomlinson would be appearing at Portland’s State Theatre. A second show was soon added and that one also sold out, weeks ahead of the performance date.

The crowd was buzzing and seemed ready for a good time when the comedian walked onto the wide State Theatre stage, which was decorated with only a stool and a microphone, for the early show Friday night. Dressed in a similar outfit – leather jacket, black jeans, high-heeled sneakers – to what she wore on Netflix, she used a mention of a recent breakup to launch into several topics centered around her latest tour theme on whether it is possible or desirable to “Have it All.”

In a 75-minute set full of quirky observations and mostly gentle satire, Tomlinson acknowledged her highly successful career but wondered whether trying to have a marriage and children would require sacrificing it all. Comparing the sometimes-contradictory advice received from her married and single friends, she tentatively concluded that “nobody wants anybody to have it all.”

Audience participation was sought regarding their relationship experiences, both long term and through dating apps. The comedian seemed genuinely amused by some of the responses while offering a few of her own, calling herself a “toxic girlfriend” with “daddy issues” whose primary identity is “afraid.” Having a “safe word” to end an argument offered a particularly funny angle on getting in and out of trouble with a partner.

All this was delivered with a lot of knowing smiles and occasional crack-ups on the part of the star when her lines hit home with the crowd. She obviously loves what she’s doing even though her material involves a lot of hilarious fretting over the trajectory of her life.

Opening the evening was a brief set from Dustin Nickerson, an affable comedian who plays a sort of boring, regular guy role to good effect. The 30-something comic discussed his long marriage and three children in warmly funny terms, though he noted he had developed a pandemic “hobby” of grinding his teeth and was so very glad when his kids went back to school.

Near the end of her performance, Tomlinson called Nickerson back to the stage to discuss the value of couples therapy, turning to a couple in the audience who were willing to discuss their own experiences. The comics, who seemed very comfortable working together, understandably offered little concrete advice. But their comments reaffirmed that they both find a seemingly endless source of humor in trying to solve personal problems and have at least a little bit of whatever “it all” is.

Steve Feeney is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.

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