Warning: The show "Love Can Suck a Dick...and So Can I," does not feature any actual acts of fellatio. Double warning: Leslie Meisel and Megan Neuringer will make you double over with laughter as they rewrite whatever notions you have of a show that revolves around heartbroken woman.
The show is a true collaboration, with Neuringer writing and directing (and co-starring as the manifestation of Meisel's "broken heart") and Meisel performing a combination of great character work and inspired crowd work. Despite centering on heartbreak and opening on a scene that even Debbie Downer couldn't top (or bottom, as it were), Meisel's whimpering mess goes meta based on a suggestion from her heart to write a one-woman show, which becomes a hit, and fast-forwards more than 3,000 shows to what the audience gets to see. Roll a clip!
As Wendy, who is deaf and has a thing for the ladies, and as Carla, a Staten Island woman who is breaking it down, Meisel shines in improvising with unsuspecting audience members. Fun facts: She learned ASL to commit to Wendy's character, and as Carla, she shows us that any man can sit in as the "perfect man."
I don't want to spoil it all, but if you'd like to see two woman with great working chemistry, who also are willing to eat chow mein onstage for the sake of comedy, and also quote some great movie lines, then you're in for a treat.
"Love Can Suck a Dick...and So Can I" continues its run at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC through September. At the Sept. 1 show, Neuringer and Meisel will be donating $1 to Gilda's Club NYC for every person in attendance, with Paige Davis (Trading Spaces, Chicago) matching the amount.
Don't miss it!
The Jews seem to have a knack for this comedy thing, don't you know (you knew), and in this new promo video for the upcoming Purim, "The Shushan Channel," previously responsible for "Jewno," goes after the critical and cult favorite AMC drama, Mad Men, with "Meshugene Men." You will recognize Amy Sedaris in the role of Netty Draperberg. Roll it!
Purim Party '09 happens March 9 at the 92YTribeca. Mark your calendars accordingly: Jews who support the ECNY Awards will kindly go to the ECNYs first, then to Tribeca for the late show at 10:30 p.m. Just a gentle gentile reminder.
Directed by Mitch Magee. Written by Sheryl Zohn and Rob Kutner.
Dan Draperberg - Matthew Walton
Peggy Olstein - Megan Neuringer
Sol Romandel - Jeff Kreisler
Pete Cohen - DC Pierson
Roger Sterning - Eric Slovin
Joan Holowitz - Ellie Kemper
Pavel Kinstein - Shek Baker
Christina - Andree Vermeulen
Netty Draperberg - Amy Sedaris
Client - Doug Nervik
Dazzling. Startling. Laugh-out-loud hilarious. Violet Krumbein's one-woman romp is called Human Painkiller, and for good reason, because I'm not sure how anyone can still feel pain after a half-hour with Krumbein, unless you're hurting from laughing so much. In black tights, sparkly gold miniskirt, fanny pack and tap shoes, Krumbein grabs your attention from the start and never lets go in a multi-character farce of outrageous proportions.
Some may compare Krumbein with Gilda Radner. I think of her show more as though Radner got to play in Pee-Wee's Playhouse. There's a song-and-dance number about hating pills, several love interests, happy fun glove, flashbacks, sound cues and a downright dangerously silly sex scene. At one point, Krumbein declares: "It kills me that such a beautiful woman has such horrible mental problems." You're meant to think of this as a moment of self-deprecation. And yet I don't find anything wrong with her at all. Director Megan Neuringer said she didn't exactly try to rein Krumbein in, but rather has worked with her in terms of structure so the audience "knows this is all deliberate." It's not haphazard at all. It's very deliberately absurd and funny.
In a note to friends on Facebook, Krumbein warned: "the show is offensive to Russians, Jews, Gays, Old People, Activists, Health Aides, Rich People, Epileptics, sufferers of Von Willebrand Disease, Healers, and Inventors." More importantly, it's only offensive to people who lack a sense of humor.
Go see Violet Krumbein in Human Painkiller, 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15 at the UCB Theatre in NYC. Dates in November and December to be scheduled.
Years ago, living in Arizona, I turned on the TV screen and found one of them thar talking head funny funny har har shows on. You know the ones made popular by VH1 and then later on CMT, E! and elsewhere, wherein clips from the day or days gone by are rebroadcast, then commented upon and made fun of by quippy quippy people. Twas quite the novelty to love the 1970s or 1980s by mocking them. It's become part of our societal fabric now.
Back then, though, what amazed me even more than this TV mockathon was the fact that several of the talking heads were labeled as comedians, even though I'd never seen them perform or even heard of them before. How'd they get on my TV, then? Well, since moving to New York City, I've begun to learn that some of these so-called comedians weren't headlining club comics, or even regular stand-up comedians, but improv and sketch folk in NYC or LA. Still, though, some of the named comedians on your TV may throw even seasoned performers for a loop. That's what happened the other night when a stand-up comedian at the Comedy Cellar asked me who the h-e-double-hockey-sticks some of these people were.
So I figured I'd help learn him and you on your TV talking head comedians.
In this installment, we discover who got listed as "comedian" on VH1's Web Junk 40: Best of the New Crap. There's 18 commenters in all...that's a lot, don't you think. The kids from the Best Week Ever blog get face time, which is a nice courtesy. There's someone from TV.com and someone from gakcity.TV, which I'd never known existed and still don't believe actually exists. Two guys show up without any ID other than their names, which I guess makes sense because even combined, they didn't manage to say anything worthy enough to be interested in learning who they were. Ten get labeled as comedians. Who are they? In order of appearance and official identification...
Simmy Kay: Writer/comedian? Hadn't heard of him. Google says...he was a narrator for MTV's Room Raiders, and that his real last name is Kustanowitz and that he's been in some commercials.
Seth Herzog: Comedian? Yep. He hosts a weekly Tuesday night comedy show called Sweet in NYC's Lower East Side. I've seen it more than thrice. Fun fact: He has been friends since childhood with Michael Showalter.
Jenny Slate: Comedian? Very much so. I saw her Gabe & Jenny show last Thursday in a new venue, Hugs bar in Williamsburg, and found her dazzling with comic poise and pizazzmatazz. She's also performing tonight at Rififi, according to what I know and believe to be true.
Dave Holmes: Writer/comedian? Wait. Wasn't he the guy who finished runner-up to Jesse the phony street kid Camp in MTV's first Wanna Be A VJ contest a decade ago? Yes. Yes he was. Holmes eventually did become an MTV VJ with all of his music knowledge. Sometime between then and now, he got into comedy and turned up on Reno 911! Blame/credit iO West.
Carter Roy: Comedian? Apparently. Though I've never seen him perform, he's been on The Shark Show in NYC and also listed as a sketch trouper.
Megan Neuringer: Comedian? I guess so. She's been on Channel 102 productions. She's also done longform improv and write and performed in "Megan and Bridie: Friends W/O Benefits," with Bridie Harrington.
Pete Holmes: Comedian? Yes, indeedy. Stand-up raised near Boston, known in the Chicago comedy community, now residing and performing in NYC. Funny funny. Semi-finalist in this year's Comedy Central Open Mic Fights, as well as in New York Comedy Festival's funniest stand-up in New York contest.
Jake Fogelnest: Writer/comedian? Yes. Although you're more likely these days to hear him on your satellite radio than see him perform live comedy in person.