Monday, July 24, 2006

Inishmore, comedy

I can say right now that I won't do this review justice because I'm exhausted, but if you get the chance to see The Lieutenant of Inishmore- Go.
It's very fun.

I have to remind myself while watching it that McDonagh is only 36. The bastard. His skill exceeds his age but his youth shades his writing with a perspective that is uniquely and outlandishly his own.

This is my favorite work of his so far, simply because it's so absurd. He is one of the few people who can make me laugh about things that I know full well I should not be laughing about: the killing of small children with razors, the considerate vs. brutal removal of a victim's toenails, familial homicide....

This is by far the goriest and most graphic of his plays, but it is so extreme that it is hysterical. The extremity ultimately serves to illustrate McDonagh's overtly obvious, but none the less valuable, point:
Violence and war are founded in absurd trivialities, such as the death of a madman's cat, that leads to overreactions which in turn leads to a lineage of nonsensical hatred, a perpetual cycle of violence that can only be ended by those big enough to stop reacting in such mindlessly automatic fashions- a very timely point in the current political climate of the middle east.

Equally amusing was the late show I caught at the Comedy Cellar afterwards. The lineup was as follows:

MC for this Show:MARINA FRANKLIN Comedian Credits
ELON GOLD ONE OF THE STARS ON FOX'S HIT SITCOM "STACKED",STAR OF NBC'S NEW SITCOM "IN-LAWS","THE HOWARD STERN SHOW"
KEVIN BRENNAN HBO SPECIAL
TIM YOUNG "LAST COMIC STANDING"
VERONICA MOSEY HBO ASPEN FESTIVAL SPECIAL, DR.PHIL, COMEDY CENTRAL
DAN NATURMAN "LAST COMIC STANDING""JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE""THE LETTERMAN SHOW"
JON FISCH "LAST COMIC STANDING", COMEDY CENTRAL'S "PREMIUM BLEND"
ARDIE FUQUA COMEDY CENTRAL'S "TOUGH CROWD"

There wasn't a comic who failed to entertain last night.
The Comedy Cellar is one of my favorite venues for comedy in the city.
My favorite venues are actually the small, rotating ones that aren't strictly intended for comedy, but as far as clubs go, The Comedy Cellar has consistently good talent.

Kevin Brennan was the first comic to really kill it.
Wearing a light blue button down shirt under a dark blue wool sweater with (if I recall correctly) a pair of khaki pants, he was white as you can get. His material fixated on this, contrasted by his astute dissection of the hip-hop culture. If I were to make a comparison, I'd say he was a slightly older, more mature and intelligent Jamie Kennedy. That may not sound like a compliment but it is intended as one.

The last four comics left my cheeks aching.

Veronica Mosey was everything I love in female comics: crass, brutally honest, and entirely inappropriate. She spoke openly of her hatred of children, the flatulent consequences of doing it doggy style, and her adventures in online dating.
Very funny.

Dan Naturman was my favorite comic of the night. I don't know where to start with him. He's short, loud, circumcised, and very Jewish. He was absolutely hysterical. For me to try and revisit his material would be sacrilege. See him if you get the chance. I promise it will be worth it.

Ardie was great- by far the most energetic of the line up. He was very engaging and worked the audience brilliantly, perhaps too well. There were clearly three guys not getting laid last night. With their girlfriends by their sides, Ardie called them out individually: "Do you love her?" he asked. Laughter from great discomfort ensued, but all in good fun. If you are a guy taking a girl to his show, though, you've been warned.

I don't mean to skip over the other comics. I'd just seen them all before, but they were very good. Eli Gold did a fantastic bit about giving his name to the Starbucks baristas when he orders. Really excellent material that had me in stitches.

Tim Young, who I've seen a few times at this point, has a great casual approach to his material which, though I've heard the same bits before, allows it all to come across as amusingly light and fresh.

Don't worry, I didn't forget about the night's MC, Marina Franklin- a woman as funny as any of the talent she introduced.
Her level of comfort on stage lends her to great physical comedy, which compliments her direct delivery on items such as why you should never interject when a mother is parenting her child.

Good stuff all around.

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