June 7, 2013 |
Global outsourcing, labor arbitrage, the HR of international economics - all important and controversial topics. Unfortunately, Some Other Kind of Person has little or nothing to say about any of them except the cliches that stopped being funny years ago; Eric Pfeffinger's flat farce traffics mostly in contempt. Here's the setup: Bill, a rumpled American (David Ingram), incompetent with people but great with numbers, has come to Cambodia on business with his crass colleague Lakshmi (the excellent speed-talker Nandita Shenoy)
February 19, 2013 |
Think Martin McDonagh without the accents. Think Quentin Tarantino without the cars. Think, in other words, about stupid people with foul mouths, big guns, and big ideas. What you have is Jason Wells' The North Plan , a very scary and very funny political satire that just opened at Theatre Exile. The place is a jail in a tiny town in southern Missouri. In one cage is a self-justifying drunk named Tanya Shepke (Madi Distefano at her yeehah! motor-mouthed best). If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's do not mess with Tanya Shepke.
October 30, 2012 |
It's not easy being a national disgrace for 60 years. If you stacked all the issues of Mad magazine that grade-school teachers and high-school principals have confiscated since its 1952 debut, you might have enough paper to house-train 20 million puppies. To add insult to injury, the editors of Mad have issued Totally Mad: 60 Years of Humor, Satire, Stupidity, and Stupidity (Time Home Entertainment, $34.95, Cheap!). Readers can relive some of their Maddest moments: comic-strip movie parodies like "The Oddfather," mock ads, political satire, the Mad "Fold-In," "Spy vs. Spy," "The Lighter Side" and the cartoons of Don Martin, with their dementedly inventive sound effects like "Pshchlaff!"
October 12, 2012 |
Colbert's America Satire and Democracy By Sophia A. McClennen Palgrave McMillan. 240 pp. $25. As the 2012 presidential election approaches, one central question is whether young Americans will turn out in the same numbers as in 2008. Will this "millennial" demographic favor the Democratic ticket by a similarly substantial ratio and help put it over the top in key battleground states against their Republican opponent? In other words, four years later, can young voters decidedly affect the fate of American politics again?
August 26, 2011
John Howard Davies, 72, who grew from cherubic child actor to influential British television producer, died Monday of cancer at his home in Blewbury, England. He is remembered by film-lovers for playing the titular orphan boy in David Lean's 1948 film of Oliver Twist. He later became a producer and director on enduring comedies including Monty Python's Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, and Mr. Bean. Born in 1939, the son of writers Jack and Dorothy Davies, the young actor followed Oliver Twist with major roles in The Rocking Horse Winner (1949)
December 11, 2009 |
What a difference a year makes. Last season, when 1812 Productions presented its annual This Is the Week That Is political satire, the show ran just before the presidential election, with a mother lode of material ripe for spoofing. This year hasn't been quite as generous; health care, Afghanistan, and Iraq don't lend themselves to skewering the way political campaigners do. So this - the company's fourth show, a reversal after 1812 Productions planned to end the satires - is a tougher year for making fun. That's clear when you consider some of the subject matter: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Sarah Palin were edgier topics when they were contenders.
May 8, 2009 |
Like Victoria Falls and polar bears, Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims is a rarity to encounter on the way to a fulfilled life. The opera, with its 14 solo parts and no story, was the composer's farewell to comedy. What a send-off! Curtis Opera Theatre opened its witty production Wednesday at the Prince Music Theater, bundling satire, parody, jokey stereotypes, and heroic singing in Rossini's indictment and affectionate forgiveness of everything operatic. Opera audiences have long noticed Rossini's influence on Verdi, but John Cage?
January 14, 2007 |
The French call it l'esprit d'escalier. "Staircase wit. " The phrase refers to the witty comeback, the rapier riposte that only occurs to you long after you needed it, when you're halfway down the stairs, heading home. I've been on that damned staircase, twitching with self-loathing, for a week or so now. This is my exorcism. On Jan. 4, my wife and I went to see the show This Is the Week That Is at a little theater on Sansom Street. We sat with my pal Dick Polman (the political columnist)
May 13, 2003 |
Bill Maher says Americans who resent new waves of impoverished immigrants should think again. After all, he notes, they take the menial jobs no one else will do, like "landscaping and impregnating Madonna. " Madonna may feel she's a girl with enough material for a successful libel suit against the comedian, but the truth is that Bill Maher is an equal-opportunity offender. In Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home, he talks mainly about Iraq and the state of our nation, but his fusillade of fatwas falls on everything from NASCAR and Scientology to Michael Jackson and the Los Angeles Police Department.
January 13, 2003
WHAT DO YOU do when a priest falls? Duck. You know, of course, that you are the ones who need to duck. When the Daily News editorial board endorses the planned actions of the Slick Duck comic brigade in the name of free speech, you can expect some "free speech" in return. Frankly, I think the comics did not actually plan a hoax. I think they flew the balloon, heard the voice of reason and decided it was not worth it. The freedom of speech you advocate must always be tempered by justice.