January 9, 2015 |
Is Babylon , Oscar-winner Danny Boyle's new comedy on SundanceTV, supposed to be Monty Python -funny or is it a savage Brechtian dialectic? It's not funny or serious enough to be either. The half-hour series, which premieres at 10 p.m. Thursday, stars the superbly accomplished Brit Marling, 31, as Liz Garvey, an American public relations pro hired to clean up the image of London's Metropolitan Police. As we see in rapidly edited clips, over-eager officers are shooting unarmed men and beating up teens (and journalists)
November 4, 2014 |
The first thing I'll say about Adrienne Truscott's Asking for It is that it's smart. Her one-woman stand-up presented by Simpatico Theatre Project asks hard, sometimes humorous questions about the use of rape jokes in comedy and deals with them in a sly, sophisticated manner. I'll start with her shtick - and no, I'm not referring to Truscott's performing most of her 75-minute show naked from the waist down. During the show, the New York-based choreographer-turned-comedian wears a big blond wig, oversize bra, and midwaist jean jacket.
October 3, 2014 |
WITH ALL the bad news coming from Atlantic City, there isn't much to laugh at down there these days, right? But the truth is, AC is a pretty hilarious place. In fact, Atlantic City could call itself the funniest burg on the East Coast. Not that this is anything new. After all, AC is where an aspiring comic-juggler named W.C. Fields honed his craft at the turn of the 20th century. It's where acts like Bud Abbott (an AyCee native) and Lou Costello , and the Three Stooges were regular headliners in their heyday.
September 19, 2014 |
THE TITLE "This is Where I Leave You" refers to what Suspension of Disbelief says to your Rational Mind the minute the movie starts. A father dies, his last wish is for his family to gather to mourn him for seven days and so a bunch of kooky siblings (Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll) and their kooky mother (Jane Fonda) spend a week in their hometown getting on each other's last nerve. Sure. Tina Fey and Adam Driver are related. And Jane Fonda is their mom. And sure, during the seven days every character has a major life peak - an affair, a breakup, a make-up, a career jolt, brawl in the front yard.
September 6, 2014 |
Joan Rivers, the transgressive comedian, author, Fashion Police commissioner, filmmaker and QVC pitchwoman, died Thursday. On Aug. 26, the seemingly unstoppable octogenarian was dishing on E!'s Fashion Police about the clothes worn on the red carpet at the Video Music Awards and the Emmy Awards. The next night, she performed her comedy act at a Times Square theater. On Aug. 28, she stopped breathing during outpatient surgery on her vocal cords. Doctors induced a medical coma and put her on life support.
September 5, 2014 |
CAN WE TALK about Joan Rivers? Because she'd hate it if we didn't. Rivers, 81, who died yesterday at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital a week after going into cardiac arrest during vocal-cord surgery in a doctor's office, wasn't just a fashion critic with an unfiltered mouth, a QVC jewelry line and a penchant for plastic surgery. Oh, she was unapologetically all those things, as well as the author of a dozen books, including this year's Diary of a Mad Diva . But long before Rivers patrolled the red carpet, enforced style rules on E!
August 1, 2014 |
FOR AT LEAST a century we've been beaming our pop culture into deep space, which probably explains why we've gotten no official visits from aliens. If there is intelligent life out there, watching "Gilligan's Island" and listening to the Starland Vocal Band, surely they'll skip the Milky Way altogether. At least that would be a reasonable guess. The funny, kicky "Guardians of the Galaxy" offers a different take - that whatever magic resides in an '80s mix-tape could save the universe.
June 18, 2014 |
How does the Kardashians' excluding Bruce Jenner from their product lines relate to the Constitution's commerce clause? Why are lifetime-appointed Supreme Court justices like DJs at a strip club? In what way do Bruce Springsteen concerts resemble the short shrift given to the workingman by Congress? Colin Quinn's Unconstitutiona l has the answers. His smart, hilarious romp through U.S. history, presented by Philadelphia Theatre Company at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, takes an absurdist approach to the divisive intolerance for differing opinions that separates red states from blue, immigration-reformists from the closed-borders crowd, and gun-control types from NRA partisans.
June 7, 2014 |
Bob Newhart will be remembered centuries hence as one of the greatest straight men in American comedy. The soft-spoken stand-up comic and actor who has the deadliest deadpan in the biz and the driest of humors was singularly brilliant in his first major sitcom, The Bob Newhart Show , which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1972 to 1978. In a great character choice, Newhart plays a therapist, Dr. Bob Hartley. Consistently calm in the midst of chaos, Bob listens in each episode to the strange and hilarious problems of a slew of series regulars who bare their souls to him. Florida Friebus has gone down in TV history for playing one of Bob's patients, Lillian Bakerman, an elderly woman who spends her therapy sessions knitting.