Several comedians have done Broadway and off-Broadway this season, and the Drama Desk Awards took notice, with three earning nominations today for "Outstanding Solo Performance" for their one-man shows.
Mike Birbiglia, for Mike Birbiglia's My Girlfriend's Boyfriend; John Leguizamo, for Ghetto Klown; and Colin Quinn, for Colin Quinn Long Story Short, all are up for the prize, competing with Daniel Beaty, Juliette Jeffers and Joanna Tope.
The Book of Mormon received the most Drama Desk Award nominations, 12, for team South Park (Trey Parker and Matt Stone), while Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, starring Robin Williams, received 7 nods, and The Motherfucker in the Hat, featuring Chris Rock in his Broadway debut, earned three nods.
The 56th annual Drama Desk Awards will be held May 23, 2011, hosted by Harvey Fierstein, and broadcasted on cable via Ovation in June.
Annual Tony Awards nominations, meanwhile, will be announced May 3.
A lot has changed in Colin Quinn's latest one-man show since I first saw him workshop it under a different name ("The Fall of it All") months ago in the basement lounge of Gotham Comedy Club.
Inside the Helen Hayes Theatre, "Long Story Short" now boasts a set design resembling a Greco-Roman amphitheater, with a giant monitor screen that can illuminate and animate the empires of our past. Musical notes and quick black-outs break up the show into multiple vignettes, each one giving Quinn a chance to tackle a particular empire, how it rose and why it fell. But the biggest difference between what Quinn began with and what he presents now for a limited engagement on Broadway is jokes. Lots and lots of jokes.
That's perhaps the one thing that lets you know that Jerry Seinfeld had a hand in the production as Quinn's director.
Opening Night audience members got to see Seinfeld onstage to take a bow with Quinn. But it's his unseen guidance which allows Quinn to tighten up his message, to pack and pepper his 75-minute with as many jokes as a monologue about how our very world around us today is crumbling could allow.
Because that's a difficult message for audiences to hear. Just as the Greeks, the Romans and the Brits saw their hold over the world slip out of their grasps, so it is our time now as an American superpower to realize we may not be as super as we once were. The underlying theme of Quinn's message is presented at the top: "With all of our progress, where is the progress?"
As he tours the history of the world -- albeit not in strict chronological order, he manages to hit all of the continents in due time -- Quinn shows us once more how the more things change, the more human behavior stays the same.
No matter your political persuasion, by the end of his set, as Quinn describes our place in the world as if the nations were all late-night patrons in a bar, you'll be persuaded that we might want to watch our step before we become the next victim to history.
It's a very timely and very funny message that all Americans need to hear.
Related: Watch highlights from opening night of Colin Quinn's Long Story Short, including before and after messages from his famous friends.
Hey, you there. Yes, you.
Would you like to see Colin Quinn on Broadway in his latest one-man show, "Long Story Short"? Would you like to see that show for free? Well, you may be in luck.
First, watch this video of Anderson Cooper interviewing Colin Quinn and his director, Jerry Seinfeld.
OK. Done yet? Now follow these simple steps.
1) Read this post. You're doing great so far!
2) Leave a comment on this post.
3) In your comment, let me know what historical empire you're most looking forward to hear Colin Quinn joke about and why.
4) Be sure to fill out a valid email when you're commenting so I can contact you.
5) If you've done all of that and left my favorite comment, then you win!
Colin Quinn's "Long Story Short" has its official opening night tonight, with a limited 11-week engagement through January 2011.
Colin Quinn's Long Story Short starts on Broadway this weekend, so it's about time we saw a 30-second TV spot for it. Roll the clip!
In case you missed it when it was off-Broadway, you now have a chance to see Colin Quinn's "Long Story Short" on an even bigger stage this fall as he'll get a limited 11-run engagement in November, with previews starting Oct. 22. Producers announced the move today.
Quinn will be returning to the Helen Hayes Theater, where he previously performed a 1998 one-man show called "Colin Quinn: An Irish Wake." He told the New York Times' Dave Itzkoff today:
“I’m quietly becoming New York’s premiere actor. People don’t understand. They have me pigeon-holed as a comedian. I’m like Elaine Stritch.”
Quinn's show is directed by Jerry Seinfeld.
Before you get too excited by thinking I've rounded up some interviews with the brand-new members of Saturday Night Live, let's remember that Will Forte just left the cast and moved back to California.
The folks at JoBlo got on the horn with Will Forte, and he told them that eight years was enough for him at SNL, and that it was time for him to take a break. "I just wanted to be close to my family," Forte says, specifically mentioning his sister, a niece and an impending nephew. "If you really want to do good work there, you really have to give it your all and that makes having a life outside work kinda tough." He also said he'd return in a flash to do a one-off of MacGruber or anything else they ask, just not another full-time year. JoBlo says they'll post the rest of their interview next week.
Colin Quinn, meanwhile, left the show a long time ago, but his off-Broadway show Long Story Short has been making waves and getting raves (see clips of Colin Quinn and his producer/director Jerry Seinfeld). This interview with The A.V. Club gets off to a rough start and doesn't quite land the dismount, but in the middle, Quinn says some interesting things about his show, his previous gun ownership and other matters.
What about people who still work at SNL? SNL fan blog Live From New York, It's Saturday Night! got writer Michael Patrick O'Brien to dish quite a bit about his first year on the staff, as well as how he got into comedy.
The women of The View held a "Day of Comedy" this morning, and Colin Quinn was there to promote his current off-Broadway one-man show, which Jerry Seinfeld. What's it called? Joy Behar wasn't quite sure, and Quinn took her to task for it. Other silliness took place in a few short minutes, as Quinn noticed that some of his quips weren't getting the appreciation they deserved from the live studio audience. But he knows all about tough crowds. Roll the clip.
A few months ago, I saw Colin Quinn work out his newest one-man show, an hour-plus in which he laid out evidence of how America might be past its peak as the global superpower, in a way that makes you think about how past empires, and not just the Romans, rose and then fell. And Quinn managed to do somehow include The Three Stooges in all of this. He called it, "The Fall of it All." Don't worry, Quinn told the audience: "It's not all depressing and boring."
Jerry Seinfeld was convinced of that. Seinfeld came on board as Quinn's director, and with a new title, Long Story Short, Quinn has taken his show for a limited run this summer at the Bleecker Street Theatre, through Aug. 14.
Here the two good fellas, previously seen a decade ago talking comedy in the Olive Tree Cafe for Seinfeld's documentary, Comedian, now talking about Quinn's new show:
Here is Seinfeld explaining Quinn's message:
And if you're the kind of person who would like to see a brief example of what the show is about, then watch this clip in which Quinn shows us the difference between colonialism and imperialism based on how they might show up at a pizza joint. Roll it!
Amy Schumer made it pretty far on Last Comic Standing a few years ago, and in a few weeks, she'll have her first Comedy Central Presents on the TV. So she decided to hit up her fellow stand-up comedians at the Comedy Cellar in NYC for some testimonials. Should be great, right? Of course, it quickly becomes a sequel to Seinfeld's Comedian, with Colin Quinn, Jim Norton, Darrell Hammond and Jessica Kirson talking smack about her. "Doesn't every comedian have a special now?" Indeed. Schumer gets some outside help from Nick Thune (who already has a Comedy Central Presents and more to his credit), and if you're on the sidewalk in front of the Cellar, of course, there will be a moment with Ardie Fuqua. Of course. Don't worry, none of these are really spoiler alerts. Roll it!
Just as ABC is refuting a report in today's New York Times that it may move Jimmy Kimmel a half-hour earlier into Nightline's spot, the late-night ABC news program just happened to devote a segment to stand-up comedy. What a delightful coincidence!
Nightline stopped by the Comedy Cellar, talked to Colin Quinn and broadcast economic jokes from Quinn, Jim Norton, James Smith and D.C. Benny, and also ventured over to Carolines to interview Mario Cantone. Suffice it to say, the premise is that when times are tough, people want to laugh. If ABC News would embed videos, you could see it here. Until then, click here to watch the Nightline "Economy of Comedy" report.
In case you haven't been following the Internets, ABC News recently struck up a partnership with its Times Square neighbor, Carolines, for a weekly interview/performance segment called Carolines on GMA Now. Club owner Caroline Hirsch also takes part in the segments and often has her own questions for the comedians. It appears as part of the magically mysterious third hour of Good Morning America, which doesn't appear on the regular ABC television network, but rather on some digital cable systems, mobile phone networks and definitely online. ABC doesn't like to offer embedded video, so instead, we've got links to share.
The mix includes both headliners working the club that weekend (natural cross-promotion) as well as up-and-coming New York-based stand-ups. Sometimes there's a performance in the ABC studio with a small audience (that's a tough room!). Sometimes not. Last week's segment had a rather revealing interview with Mike DeStefano.
“We’re thrilled to be teaming up with ABC News' ‘Good Morning America NOW’ on this new program,” Hirsch said in the official press release earlier this spring. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our lively and entertaining programming on ABC News NOW -- across all of its platforms -- broadband, cable and mobile.”