Celebrities

Celeste Barber's Fine, Thanks Tour Is Coming to Phoenix

Comedian Celeste Barber will bring her act to Phoenix on August 7.
Comedian Celeste Barber will bring her act to Phoenix on August 7. Kovert Creative
Australian comedian Celeste Barber will take the stage at the Arizona Federal Theatre for one night on her 42-city Fine, Thanks tour through the U.S. That night of hilarity in Phoenix happens this summer — August 7, to be exact. Tickets, however, are on sale as of 10 a.m. today.

Barber, often called the "Australian Queen of Comedy," didn’t set out to be regarded as comedic royalty. Her deep dive into the funny pool came after several years of acting in dramatic roles.

Her acting studies started in 2000 and just five years later, she landed the part of Bree Matthews on the popular Australian TV medical drama All Saints. She had a couple of roles in the Aussie soap opera Home and Away and was a sketch writer for The Matty Johns Show.

If you don’t know her from any of those TV programs, it’s a safe bet you’re one of the millions of people who are familiar with her from Instagram. In 2015, Barber started the hashtag #celestechallegeaccepted to have fun with her sister. She recreated a slew of celebrities’ IG pics with herself in the starring role.

The side-by-side photos featured many of the omnipresent celebrity pics of themselves perfectly coiffed, polished and posed, doing things from wearing lingerie while walking their dogs to practicing yoga on the beach.

While having fun taking her witty stick and poking at society’s all-consuming obsession with celebs, Barber’s spectacularly funny photo series earned her a huge following. She’s got more than 8 million IG followers herself. Selma Blair, Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber are just a handful of celebrity images she has duplicated. In many of them, her facial expressions alone are enough to inspire laughing fits.

Barber wrote a book about that experience titled Challenge Accepted. She has referred to it as a guide to becoming an "anti-it girl." She has a couple of other books under her belt, including one for kids — Celeste the Giraffe Loves to Laugh.

Her stand-up, which you'll get with the Fine, Thanks tour, is top-notch. Whether she’s teasing the wine moms in the room or talking about her childhood experiences with attention deficit disorder, Barber's delivery is a mix of hilarious, raw and sincere.

She’ll be blending that comedy with some drama in an upcoming Netflix series based on Brigid Delaney’s novel Wellmania: Misadventures in the Search for Wellness, about a woman facing challenges that make her rethink her reckless actions.

Willing to show another side of herself when in character, she can stay serious for only so long, though. During this summer tour, Celeste Barber plans to be taking care of funny business.

Celeste Barber, 7 p.m. Sunday, August 7. Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 W. Washington St. Ticket prices vary.
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Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young