June 5, 2015
LET'S BE clear: I am not retiring from the Daily News . Malcolm Forbes said, "Retirement kills more people than hard work ever did. " I am not suicidal. But this year's 25th edition of the Stu Bykofsky's Candidates Comedy Night will be the last. Since it has become (in the words of the Inquirer ) "a rite of city politics," its demise deserves an explanation, an epitaph. Let's start with the truism that all good things must come to an end. It is an immutable fact I cannot do it forever, and 25 years is a mark often used in retirements, not to discount the Forbes quote above.
June 4, 2015 |
Donna Cavanagh says the world is brimming with mockable material - like the sex toy designed for those grieving the loss of a partner. The glass device can be filled with ashes of your dead lover. "I mean, come on. That story was like handing me gold," Cavanagh, 53, of East Norriton, says of the essay she wrote about it. Her writing finds a home on the website she founded four years ago, Humor Outcasts, where now more than 100 other humorists - cartoonists, novelists, stand-up comedians, and TV producers and writers, many well-known - contribute essays, memes, parodies, satires, and cringe comedy at a blush-under-R rating.
June 1, 2015
IT'S ALWAYS funny in Philadelphia - and especially so this August when king of comedy Jerry Seinfeld and fresh prince Kevin Hart both perform locally. Seinfeld is at the intimate Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City for two nights, with 2,400 high rollers in attendance per night. Tickets start at $95 (list) and soar into the stratosphere ($700-plus) at reseller sites. White-hot Hart plays the Linc - as in, the football stadium. He's the first comic ever to headline an NFL venue, this one with a 68,000-seat capacity.
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 |
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.