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ENTERTAINMENT
June 22, 2001 | By DAVID BLEILER and DAVID GORGOS For the Daily News
IN DAVID MAMET'S vastly entertaining comedy "State and Main" (VHS: priced for rental; DVD: $24.99), new to video this week, a Hollywood film crew arrives at a small Vermont town and proceeds to turn everyone's life upside-down. William H. Macy is splendid as the cool-headed director trying to maintain control of curious onlookers, self-centered stars, ego-bruised writers and acts of God. The end result? Lots of laughs, an acerbic peek inside the moviemaking process, and, finally, a finished film.
NEWS
September 14, 2007
I WANT TO start off by saying that I'm not a Bush basher - he is in fact my 43rd favorite president! I find it ironic that while he is filling coffins today, he's thinking about filling his coffers tomorrow. There should be a law passed, if you voted for W in 2000 and 2004 - and STILL think he is doing a "heck of a job" - you lose your right to vote in 2008. Tom Martin, Haddonfield, N.J.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 7, 2011
THEATER Fresh off a defining performance as Feste in Pig Iron Theatre's spectacular "Twelfth Night," Scott Greer heads to the reliably hilarious 1812 Productions, which kicks off its season with "Mistakes Were Made. " In a role originated last year by the wonderfully wacky Michael Shannon, Greer is Felix Artifex, an off-Broadway producer who is simultaneously trying to mount his first Broadway show (an epic about the French Revolution), reconcile with his estranged wife and avoid charges of foreign sheep-trafficking.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 2006 | By CYNTHIA LITTLETON The Hollywood Reporter Daily News TV critic Ellen Gray has the day off
Peter Liguori has a message for the town's comedy writers: Think January. The Fox entertainment president and his development staff are in the thick of an unusually aggressive summer hunt for new comedy projects that can be whipped up in time to take advantage of the golden launch platform offered when "American Idol" returns for a sixth edition in January. The network has 10 blind script deals in place and has been actively seeking pitches for new projects, Liguori said. "We have the best time slot on television to launch a show," he said.
NEWS
October 30, 1998 | by Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
"Life Is Beautiful" is a genre of one. It is a comedy about the Holocaust - a subject usually approached with the utmost delicacy by filmmakers, mindful of the danger of trivializing or diminishing events that best speak for themselves. Even in today's anything-goes movie climate - when a movie like "Happiness" can deliver a dispassionate portrait of a child molester - when the industry operates without apparent discretion, exploitation of the Holocaust looms as the last inviolable taboo.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 28, 2009 | By Carrie Rickey INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Always happy to see Andy Griffith, whether as the charismatic demagogue in A Face in the Crowd, the wise county sheriff Andy Taylor in his self-titled TV show, or the crusty septuagenarian in Waitress. So I was looking forward to his role as the grieving widower in the intergenerational comedy Play the Game, in which a grandson (Paul Campbell) teaches Gramps (Griffith) how to score with "chicks. " Alas, the conceit of a double-dating Grandson and Gramps does not produce a great many laughs in this cringeworthy film costarring Doris Roberts and Marla Sokoloff as the comely Granny and Granddaughter in their sights.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 25, 1992 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Hollywood would consider Mike Leigh's method of making a movie to be utter madness. But no one can quarrel with results as winning and invigorating as Life Is Sweet. Leigh is an innovator whose system calls for casting a movie before it is written. He gathers his actors and discusses a character in general terms. Then, over months of rehearsals and wrangling, each performer develops his or her part - right down to a detailed life history of the character. Leigh then sits and writes a script.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 1986 | By NELS NELSON, Daily News Theater Critic
David McCallum in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of "Run for Your Wife," a comedy by Ray Cooney. Directed by Chris Johnston, set by Michael Anania, lighting by David Kissel, costumes by Alice S. Hughes. Presented at the Playhouse Theatre in the Hotel DuPont, Wilmington, through Feb. 22. The humorous possibilities, if any, in the practice of bigamy have been sectioned by writers of comedy since time immemorial, and notably in the films "The Captain's Paradise" and "The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker," but with the British import that opened last night in Wilmington I think that this long and desperate pursuit has reached the end of the line with a vast echoey clang.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 24, 1991 | Inquirer staff reviews and synopses, compiled by Christopher Cornell
A comedy with a very familiar - and somewhat puffy - face, and a troubling drama from France are at the top of this week's list of new videos. THE FRESHMAN (1990) (RCA/Columbia) 102 minutes. Marlon Brando, Matthew Broderick, Bruno Kirby, Maxmilian Schell. Andrew Bergman's comedy is a breath of fresh air, and not just because Brando does a hilarious sendup of his Oscar-winning portrait of Vito Corleone in The Godfather. Here he's a Little Italy "importer" whose machinations turn innocent film-school student Broderick into an unwilling godson.
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NEWS
April 11, 2014 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer thompsg@phillynews.com, 215-854-5992
THERE are moments in "Cuban Fury," lots of them, when you wish it had been about an old Plymouth making taxi runs in Havana. Or the owner of the Dallas Mavericks bitching about the NFL. Alas, it's a purported comedy about chubby milquetoast Bruce (Nick Frost), who tries to woo his pretty new boss Julia (Rashida Jones) by reviving a long-dormant interest in salsa dancing. Bruce is a former youth salsa champion who was bullied out of his love of dancing, and now tries to reconnect with his old instructor (Ian McShane)
NEWS
March 18, 2014 | BY DAN GERINGER, Daily News Staff Writer geringd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5961
DURING HER early-'90s student days, Melissa Bernard did open-mic nights at the Comedy Cabaret, on Chestnut Street near 2nd, then schmoozed with her fellow stand-ups over postmortem coffee at Nick's Roast Beef. "I would do awful sets that I have no recollection of, just so I could drink Nick's bad coffee afterwards and tell funny stories with other comics," Bernard said. "After a while, I understood that I wasn't really into stand-up, except for the exhilaration of knowing other comics.
NEWS
March 18, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
DAVID BRENNER was a West Philly corner kid who made good. In many ways, he never stopped being a West Philly corner kid. Whenever he returned from comedy tours and TV appearances, David always wanted to be taken to the old neighborhoods where he grew up. He remembered hangouts like Moe's, Golub's Market, Barson's and Phil's luncheonette. He could recite the menu from long-gone Fireman's at 52nd and Baltimore, where you could get a full-course meal for $1.75. And the characters he hung out with: Bird, Stan the Dancer, Beans, Needles, Goobie.
NEWS
March 7, 2014
WHAT would you call a presentation that educates as much as it entertains? Well, on Monday and Tuesday, you can call it, "An Evening Without the Catskills. " Subtitled "A Brief History of Jewish Humor" and staged at Plays & Players Theatre by 1812 Productions - the region's only company dedicated exclusively to comedy - "An Evening Without the Catskills" is the latest in a series of special events that limn the history of American comedy. Past productions have included "An Evening Without Steve Martin " and "An Evening Without Woody Allen " (the point of the titles being that those individuals were not part of the shows)
SPORTS
February 26, 2014 | BY TOM MAHON, Daily News Staff Writer mahont@phillynews.com
LAST WEEK, the United Nations issued a report chronicling North Korea's massive human-rights violations under the rule of Kim Jong-un. It is estimated that there are up to 200,000 political prisoners. The report alleged that many have been executed, tortured and starved. Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has visited North Korea and its idiot leader many times, which has inspired a 20th Century Fox film to be titled "Diplomats. " And get this: It's going to be a comedy. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film will be directed by Tim Story, whose past projects include "Ride Along," "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" and "Barbershop.
NEWS
February 26, 2014
THERE'S A line in the movie "Groundhog Day" that probably sums up how you feel about the recent weather. "I'll give you a winter prediction," says weatherman Bill Murray, condemned to Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney until he learns to love someone other than himself. "It's going to be cold, it's going to be gray and it's going to last you for the rest of your life. " The line was written by Harold Ramis, 69, who died yesterday after a prolonged struggle with an autoimmune disease. You probably know his name, but if you don't, know that Ramis probably made you laugh more than any writer/director/actor of his time.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2014 | By Ellen Gray
* LAFF MOBB'S WE GOT NEXT. 10 tonight, Aspire (183 on Comcast). * FRONTLINE: GENERATION LIKE. 10 tonight, WHYY12.   IT'S NOT easy being clean. Not, at least, for comedians facing audiences who've come to expect a certain level of raunchiness from their stand-ups, who in turn have probably come to expect that they'll spend a fair amount of time trying to make drunk people laugh. But one result of the slicing and dicing of the cable universe into smaller and smaller sections is that it eventually creates a market for just about everything.
NEWS
January 17, 2014
IT'S PROBABLY not a good idea to expect a drawing-room comedy from playwright Nicholas Wardigo any time soon. "I see a lot of theater and, quite frankly, I'm tired of seeing theater set in living rooms and restaurants," said the Ardmore-based Wardigo during a recent phone chat. "When I write, I try to set things in more interesting settings. " "More interesting settings?" Wardigo, 43, is obviously a master of understatement. His newest piece, which has its world premiere Thursday at the Shubin Theatre in Queen Village, is set inside a snow globe large enough to accommodate two women.
NEWS
December 20, 2013 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
What could be the method to the madness of Northern Liberties natives Garrett Smith and Mike Baurer? Since June 2012, Smith, 26, and his self-described "manchild" pal Baurer, 27, have held (some of) Philadelphia in thrall with their hilarious weekly Trailer Trash podcast, which at first was geared toward humorously reviewing movie trailers, then became an anything-goes chat showcase for themselves and their fellow-comedian pals. Sex, sports, sex while playing sports, and, of course, the potential disaster of a Hollywood blockbuster gone wrong - based on the looks of its trailer - are fodder for the Trash men. "I've been told the sound of my voice could make a rabid mountain lion in heat purr.
NEWS
December 2, 2013 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Columnist
In The Trip, the verité-ish 2011 road pic that paired British comedy star Steve Coogan with British comedy star Rob Brydon - the two of them touring the Lake District, trading quips and impressions of Michael Caine and Sean Connery - Coogan, as Coogan, was often on the phone to his agent, whining that he wasn't being taken seriously. He was not getting the good movies, the substantial roles. There was more than a bit of truth to Coogan's lament. It's a situation he has remedied quite nicely in Philomena , by cowriting the screenplay and then giving himself one of the two leads.
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