September 14, 2012 |
"SLEEPWALK WITH ME" puts a laudably offbeat new spin on the familiar story of the slacker guy with the commitment problem. It's adapted from a popular stage play by comedian Mike Birbiglia, a work that describes his matriculation as a standup comic and his disintegrating relationship with his lovely, tolerant girlfriend (Lauren Ambrose). His career and his relationship are more than casually linked - Birbiglia struggles to find his voice onstage until he starts to make candid jokes about his troubled relationship.
September 14, 2012 |
COMEDIANS have an easier time making an audience laugh, concedes Ross Bennett, when the listeners have already downed their two-drink minimum. But when a jokester is playing for a crowd that's largely reformed alcoholics and former drug addicts - a relatively new "subset" audience for live comedy being courted by the booking agency Recoverycomedy.com - "you've got to really be good," said Bennett. "You can't just get away with dropping the f-bomb. In fact, since it's often a family crowd you're facing, you have to work totally clean, as well as sober.
August 27, 2012 |
The first thing a visitor might notice at the Abo house, set on a quiet, dignified street in Cherry Hill, is its second outdoor mailbox. Shaped like an airplane, it sits suspended on a pole above the other box and says simply "Air Mail. " Nearby, a small "Beer Garden" sign points to bottles planted upside-down in a cluster of shrubs. And then, there's the notice that reads: "In 1897, absolutely nothing happened at this location. " Very soon it becomes very clear that Jane and Marty Abo's home is not your run-of-the-mill suburban retreat.
August 24, 2012 |
This story has been clarified. NO ONE ever said it was easy cracking a witty, well-timed joke, the kind that can make a roomful of mildly inebriated people laugh, really laugh. Proof of this fact can be found at the annual Stu Bykofsky's Candidates' Comedy Night, where pols take a break from their sometimes unintentionally funny day jobs to try - emphasis here on try - to crack wise for a good cause. The event, now in its 22nd year, has raised about $475,000 for Variety, The Children's Charity, which serves children living with disabilities in the Delaware Valley.
August 13, 2012 |
It is, without doubt, one of the more memorable entrances in movie history: There's Gina Gershon , answering a knock on the door at the start of Killer Joe, naked from the waist down, and not in any hurry to cover herself. "It definitely makes a statement about who she is," says Gershon, laughing a bit and reflecting on this woman, Sharla - a character dreamed up by Tracy Letts for his play, and then adapted to the screen by William ( The Exorcist, The French Connection )
July 26, 2012 |
Not long ago, Anne Frey, a Philadelphia stage actress-turned-real-estate agent, was sitting on her steps on 20th Street off Rittenhouse Square when she noticed something interesting. "There were so many people milling about, so many of them young, and I began to think: What happened to people my age?" Frey, 59, wondered where her giddy, lively friends - anyone, really - could get comfortable and converse. "Where it is we can go and hear each other talk and laugh? Where was it that had a certain level of sophistication?"
July 20, 2012 |
You know a sitcom's in trouble when the laugh track seems to come on at random. Nothing on-screen registers as funny, yet you keep hearing those unnerving guffaws. So it happens 15 seconds into TBS's new sitcom, Sullivan & Son, which premieres Thursday with two back-to-back episodes. And it keeps happening for the duration. A low-concept cross of Cheers, All in the Family, and the Drew Carey Show, Sullivan & Son was cocreated and cowritten by popular Korean American stand-up comic Steve Byrne, who also stars.
July 17, 2012 |
WHAT'S so funny about Cape May? For starters, there's the summer series of the all-star comedy company Catch a Rising Star at the Cape May Convention Hall that kicks off Tuesday with a performance by Robert Klein. According to Suzy Vengo, owner of the famed comedy-club chain, the stand-up series fills a hole on the Cape May entertainment scene. "The closest comedy club is in Wildwood," she reasoned, adding that "you can reach so many more people in one night" at a venue the size of the newly rebuilt convention hall than you can at a typical comedy club.
June 30, 2012 |
Court bigotry The hypocrisy of Justice Antonin Scalia never ceases to amaze me ("Split ruling on immigration," Tuesday). In his narrow-minded dissent from the Supreme Court's decision striking down parts of Arizona's draconian new immigration law, Scalia raises his voice on the evils of illegal immigration. The justice forgets that hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of his countrymen's families also entered this nation without passports, and probably illegally, in the early 20th century.
June 15, 2012 |
It's about time: Aubrey Plaza gets her own movie! Master of the deadpan aside, cast often as hipster nerd, wisecracking worrywart, or lovelorn friend, Plaza - who began in improv and sketch comedy and can now be seen weekly on TV's Parks and Recreation - has been the supporting player who made the movie worth seeing, the scene worth stealing. In Safety Not Guaranteed, she's the star. This shaggy love story sends Plaza off on a voyage of discovery - she's Darius, a Seattleite who can't get a job (her interview with a restaurant manager is rife with hilarious defeatism)