The brand-new season's initially entries are both came to with celebrity mythomania. But the 2 reflects couldn't be even more remote in tone. "Kiki & Herb" airs the cabaret duo's jaded see that we're all going to die, so carry it on. But in his"Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me," the comic cheekily embraces his own death as an avenue to better glorification.
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In a period as soon as nothing piques famous curiosity quite favor a glimpse of Suri Holmes Cruise or a fresh Brangelina advance, it’s proper that the new Broadmeans season’s initially entries are both came to through celebrity mythomania. But the 2 shows couldn’t be more far-off in tone. “Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway” ferociously airs the gnarled cabaret duo’s jaded watch that we’re all going to die, so carry it on. But in his winsome musical showsituation, “Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me,” the comic cheekily embraces his very own fatality as an avenue to greater glorification.
Basically a solo display via sparkling comedic and also vocal assistance from a second cast of 5 — consisting of composer and also co-conceiver Marc Shaimale, an engaging phase personality, bouncing and also squirming with glee at the piano — Short’s wildly embelliburned self-celebration renders a virtue of the glib smugness that’s nearly a prerequisite of the create.
Regardless of a similar fascicountry through fame, his faux sincerity is completely different from, say, Sandra Bernhard’s — the style here is even more benign and also ingratiating, much less sardonic. But that’s not to say it’s a toothless session of ego massage and celeb satire.
Short’s irreverent riffs on stars past and current are matched by a refreshing refusal to take himself as well seriously. Given that you can’t switch on an awards show without someone gushing, “I am so-oo blessed,” it’s funny to witness a star conceding upfront that a life of success and happiness is a yawn for everyone else. Hence the should design a dysuseful previous and concoct a brush with mortality. “A lot of what I’ll be informing you will be true,” Short uses. “A lot I’ll be consisting of. See if you can tell the difference.”
Regardless of some memorable film appearances, Brief was arguably at his ideal on “SCTV” and also “Saturday Night Live.” That background is evident in the sketch-based nature of his book for this show, co-created through playwideal Daniel Goldfarb (“Modern Orthodox”) and also through added product by vet “SNL” scribe Alan Zweibel, who carried out comparable duties on Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays.” As in all skit reflects, the product is inconsistent, yet below it’s on the mark even more frequently than not.
In the song “Babies,” we gain Short’s birth and also prompt breast fixation; in “Don’t Wanna Be Me,” he escapes his supposedly abusive father (shades of Suzanne Somers’ embarrassing solo show) right into the fantasy of TV talkdisplay stardom. In “Ba-Ba-Ba-Bu-Duh Broadway!” he leaves Canada to overcome the Great White Way; in “Sniff, Sniff,” he succumbs to the coke-fueled hedonism of the Studio 54 era; and in “Twelve Step Pappy,” he emerges from rehab as a showbiz survivor, with an explicit nod to “Elaine Stritch at Liberty.”
The outrageous fabrication following is exposed when Short’s brother, Michael (Brooks Ashmanskas), objects from among the theater’s boxes in the time of a family members Christmas rearsenal that father wasn’t an actor, mom never smoked, they didn’t have a sister, and they’re Jewish. “His very own meshpucha!” he fumes. (In truth, Quick is a Catholic of Irish descent.)
More than revealing anypoint around Short, these setups often serve to lampoon musicals in “Forbidden Broadway” style or send up celebrities. Short’s alleged triumph in a present referred to as “Step Brvarious other de Jesus” skewers “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Hair,” complete with mock full-frontal nudity. His abortive auditions are recalled, first for Tommy Tune, then Bob Fosse. Covering both duties, Ashmanskas is particularly hilarious as Track, wearing stilts and white bell-bottoms, affecting a fey Texan drawl as he battles to cross his elongated legs atop the piano.
Among Short’s star takes, his Elizabeth Taylor is simply OK, his shaky Katharine Hepburn is much better and also his sonorous-voiced Rictough Burton is ideal of all. He frequently and also generously allows the spotlight to linger on his co-stars, giving ample space, for instance, to priceless Mary Birdsong’s spot-on Judy Garland also in ersatz “Wizard of Oz” pic “The Farmer’s Daughter.”
Birdsong and also Nicole Parker score some of the best laughs through a roster of impersonations, nailing Jodie Foster, Renee Zellweger, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres and Joan Rivers, among others. Several of these number in the search for a replacement star as soon as Short ends up in a lightning-induced coma after inviting God to strike him dead.
While the show has actually been tightened right into one act because its initially tryout stop in San Francisco, this expedition of Short’s death and also contemplation of the following tributes are stretched a small thin. In spite of occurring somepoint closer to a narrative, this area marginally deflates the show’s balloon after a buoyant first fifty percent. It does, however, serve to accommodate Short’s fawning interviewer Jiminy Glick, who descends on the hospital prefer a celebrity ambulance chaser. (The audience recruit for this seg at the performance caught was an extremely sporting Tracey Ullguy.) Anvarious other of Short’s stock characters, Irving Cohen, shows up as a bawdy angel in heaven.
Songs by “Hairspray” team Shaimale and Scott Wittmale (that does a tidy job directing) are witty and also tuneful, capped by Capathia Jenkins’ “Soptimal the Sexactly how,” which neatly ribs the musical trend of “a large, black lady” bringing dvery own the residence through an obligatory 11 o’clock number.
Mirroring the inflated cast, manufacturing values additionally boost on the standard solo-display look. Scott Pask’s sets alternative cartoon backdrops via a Jerry Herman-esque stairinstance, affording Short an entrance both vainglorious and also self-deprecating. Jess Goldstein’s costumes are entertainingly daffy, as is Christopher Gattelli’s pastiche choreography.
If there’s a slight feeling of insubstantiality since the show never really abandons jokiness to expose the guy behind the performer centerphase, Quick nonethemuch less delivers a good time. He keeps tongue planted firmly in cheek while supplying celebrity self-love and shamelessly insincere soul-looking.
Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me
Bernard B. Jacobs Theater; 1,025 seats; $101.25 topProduction:A Base Entertainment, Harbor Entertainment, Roy Furman, Jeffrey A. Sine presentation in association with Lisa Lapan and also Terry E. Schnuck of a musical in one act with book by Martin Short and Daniel Goldfarb, music and also arrangements Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittmale and also Shaiman, conceived by Brief and Shaimale. More material by Alan Zweibel. Directed by Wittman. Musical direction, Charlie Alterman. Choreography, Christopher Gattelli.
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Crew:Sets, Scott Pask; costumes, Jess Goldstein; lighting, Chris Lee; sound, Peter Hylenski; orchestrations, Larry Blank; music coordinator, John Miller; wigs, Charles Laponte; production stage manager, Bess Marie Glorioso. Opened Aug. 17, 2006; reregarded Aug. 16. Running time: 1 HOUR, 40 MIN.With:With: Martin Quick, Brooks Ashmanskas, Mary Birdsong, Capathia Jenkins, Nicole Parker, Marc Shaiguy. Music By: