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.
October 29, 2014 |
"DEAR White People" is a movie that grew out of a popular Twitter feed, though it's anything but shallow. It's a canny, complex and funny campus comedy movie that views race through the eyes of the millennial generation (its black characters seem equally tired of D.W. Griffith and Tyler Perry) - writer-director Justin Simien based the movie on his experiences as a black man attending a mostly white college. The movie is not part of some mythical post-racial America, by any means, but it's happy to embrace the complexities of racial identity.
October 11, 2014 |
The romantic comedy is turned on its head in Obvious Child , a hilarious and controversial comedy about true love, one-night stands, and abortion. A cross between a Woody Allen farce and a particularly filthy one-woman show by Sarah Silverman, the film features an incredible turn by Saturday Night Live alumna Jenny Slate. She stars as Donna, a stand-up comic approaching 30 who discovers her boyfriend and her galpal have been having an affair for months. Feeling ugly and unlovable, Donna gets carried away one night and has a drunken one-night stand with Max, a sweet graduate student ( The Office 's Jake Lacy)
October 10, 2014
TO A LARGE degree, the story of modern-day comedy has been written primarily in a handful of towns. New York and Los Angeles, obviously, are among them, but two others are just as important: Chicago and Toronto. Both are permanent residences of Second City, the groundbreaking improvisational-comedy troupe that has been the training ground for a mind-boggling number of comedy megastars from Joan Rivers and Robert Klein to John Belushi and Gilda Radner , from Martin Short and Catherine O'Hara to Tina Fey and three current "Saturday Night Live" cast members.