May 8, 2015 |
Television has a grand tradition of putting fully formed female friendships onscreen, from Lucy and Ethel to Mary and Rhoda to Broad City 's Abbi and Ilana. These relationships can be deep, complex, and - in the case of Broad City - pretty stoned. These relationships are the great love stories of television. Monica of Friends married Chandler - but only with Rachel and Phoebe would she sit despondently in a wedding dress swigging beers. Netflix's Grace and Frankie gets that right, sometimes - and when it does, it's a lovely, if traditional, comedy about two women learning how to fall (platonically)
May 1, 2015
THE MORAL of "Kinky Boots"? That's an easy one: There's no business like shoe business. But (bad) puns aside, it's easy to see why 2013 Tony Awards voters bestowed six statues - including the coveted Best Musical - upon the show based on a relatively obscure 2005 British film which, in turn, was inspired by the true story of a failing shoe manufacturer whose fortunes were reversed by its entry into the fetish-wear industry. The stage version, which runs through May 10 at the Forrest Theatre, is a real charmer, blessed with an interesting, easy-to-follow plot, empathetic characters, a tuneful, eclectic score, enough genuinely funny lines to keep the laughs coming on a regular basis and an infectious energy that never flags.
April 24, 2015 |
There's nothing like watching the Geico Gecko spew a filthy barrage of obscenities and invectives, then get the stuffing kicked out of him by an enraged Steve Coogan. It's one of the many pleasures Happyish , which will premiere at 9:30 p.m. Sunday on Showtime. It's an intelligent, surreal, mildly outrageous - and most certainly outraged - satire of life in post-industrial America. Created and written by novelist and essayist Shalom Auslander ( Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir )
April 20, 2015 |
'One of these days, Alice, straight to the moon!" That clenched-fist line, immortalized by Jackie Gleason playing Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners , supplies the title for Jennifer Childs' new play, To the Moon , now in previews by 1812 Productions at Christ Church Neighborhood House. For people too young to have watched this vintage sitcom series, The Honeymooners featured two working-class couples in a Brooklyn apartment building (this was in the 1950s, long before Brooklyn became the pricey hipster paradise it is now)
April 10, 2015
YOU MAY be aware that a musical stage version of "The Honeymooners" is headed to Broadway. But long before that production sees the light of day, Philly will welcome the world premiere of its own " 'Mooners"-based play. 1812 Productions raises the curtain Thursday on "To The Moon," which is billed as "a contemporary comedy inspired by the life and work of Jackie Gleason . " The piece, penned by local comedy doyenne Jen Childs , involves an actor - played by Childs' hubby, Barrymore winner Scott Greer - who decides to model his career after that of Gleason, who died in 1987.
March 6, 2015 |
* UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT. Friday, Netflix. * DIG. 10 tonight, USA. FROM "That Girl" to "Girls," single women hoping to make it in the Big Apple aren't new to TV. Single women moving to New York after 15 years living underground in a doomsday cult? You can count them on one finger. There's nothing generic about the funny (and charming) "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," whose first 13 episodes premiere tomorrow on Netflix. Ellie Kemper ("The Office") stars as Kimmy, who's been through some stuff and emerged determined not to waste her life.
March 4, 2015 |
The name Margaret Cho instantly brings to mind hot-button political activism and outrageous first-person humor, things you'll find in equal measure during her shows at Helium Comedy Club on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Whether as comedian, actress or author, Cho covers racism, feminism, abuse, LGBT empowerment, sexual liberation, corporate interference, bullying, and more. Her current stage show is titled "There's No 'I' in Team, but there is a 'Cho' in Psycho". She also has had a late-night talk show, All About Sex , which recently completed its first six-episode season on TLC, and documentaries such as Adventures in Comedy . Cho, 42, is still as passionate about stand-up comedy as she was when she first gained national attention in the early '90s for her frank takes on being young, bold, and Korean American.
March 4, 2015 |
Too many theatergoers, artists and critics operate under the idea that theater should provide social commentary, challenge orthodoxy, or motivate political change, with audience enjoyment a secondary (at best) concern. Paul Slade Smith's hysterical, albeit mindless, Unnecessary Farce exploded this mistaken belief one recent evening at Ambler's Act II Playhouse, as the audience roared throughout the 100-minute, two-act international hit. Smith has written a doozy of a door-slamming, mistaken-identity plot-shuffler.
February 2, 2015
The wind is howling, but inside this coffeehouse on Christian Street, it's cozy, all the windows opaque with steam. One by one, the patrons - millennials who have staked out their tables with laptops - approach Abbi Jacobson to gush about how much they love her show, Broad City . "It's usually not like this," says the Main Line native, flustered by the processional. "Most places, I'm not recognized at all. " She'd better get used to the attention. Her anarchic Comedy Central series with Ilana Glazer is rapidly transitioning from cult favorite to prime-time sensation.
January 30, 2015 |
PARK CITY, Utah - Growing up in Huntingdon Valley in the 1980s, Benson Lee loved the teen comedies of that spirited time, especially John Hughes classics like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles . The music, the style, the "youthful attitude" - those films were, he says, "such a great escape for me. " There was just one problem. Lee, a second-generation Korean American, "hated the depiction of Asian characters," like Sixteen Candles' Long Duk Dong, a buffoonish exchange student whose appearances were introduced with ringing gongs.