If he had saved, he wouldn't be here...


"If you liked the Miracle Worker than you'll LOVE Fame Becomes Me" reads the tagline for the new Martin Short musical previewing in Toronto before its Broadway previews begin July 22nd. As I've stated here on ol' Bloggy McBloggerson I don't generally like to talk about my day job at "CSIS". Because, you know, I like my job and I don't want to cock that up by blabbing about it on the internet. That said, you'll find no inside dope here, just my impressions of a new show that I would have gone to see even if I didn't work at "CSIS" and got my tickets for free.

Now, I'm both a theatre and comedy nerd and I was born and raised in Toronto so it follows that I'm a HUGE Martin Short fan. What I've discovered through the process of watching this show get mounted, much to my shock and dismay, is that not everyone is. What's not to like? Brilliant writing, characters, high energy, amazing showmanship, singing and that good ol' need to entertain! What could be better? I know taste is subjective and all that, and I try to be inclusive (hey, I'm Canadian) but I have to say in this particular instance that if you don't love Short - you're wrong. He is brilliant, I'm right and your wrong.

"Fame Becomes Me" which was co-created by Short, Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman, who the publicity material says "got tired of counting their money from 'Hairspray'" (come on - even the publicity material is funnier than most shows) is a laugh a minute take on the recent rash of solo confessional shows put on by big stars. They satirize everything from Billy Crystal's earnest childhood angst to Elaine Stritch's abuse problems. Short and his super talented cast which includes the impish Shaiman onstage, tear it up with one great number after another. While they skewer show business personalities and conventions left, right and centre you get the feeling that just because they're poking fun at the likes of Judy Garland, Tommy Tune, Sondheim and Bob Fosse it doesn't mean they're not genuine fans of the very things they're making fun of. It's the gentlest of satire. Short loves the business he's in too much to come off as the least bit mean spirited.

The second half of the show finds Short inhabiting his latest comic creation Jiminy Glick who takes a poor, unsuspecting audience member up onstage for an interview. The night before we attended the guest was Mayor David Miller. The night after we attended Eugene Levy was the interviewee. The night we were there? The poor Robeau got pulled onstage. I won't rehash the details, but I will say that after the show he got mauled by four different groups of senior citizens who thought he was just great (hey, it's a niche market). I will also say that Short as Glick endowed him with the moniker "Ol' Dead-Eyed Jim". Needless to say, that lovely new nickname has already made a few appearances at our house!

Short closes the show with a truly beautiful ballad, penned by Shaiman which explains "If he'd saved he wouldn't have met us". I loved every minute of this show and can't wait to see it again. I predict raves in New York and more Tony Awards in 2007 than you can shake a stick at. You heard it here first.

For more on this great show including video clips of the hysterically funny commercial vist:
  • Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me

    1. Anonymous4:47 PM

      BT didn't look at her watch once during "Fame Becomes Me". (Let's not worry about the fact that I don't own a watch.)

      I enjoyed a funny, fabulous show. Entertainment for adults that everyone can enjoy.

      I thought the Godspell/Hair spoof (Gary, Jesus' step-brother) was inspired.

      Mary, I forgive you for "The Pebble and the Penguin"!

    2. Perhaps my favourite moment of the entire show...

      "In 1972 Broadway was obsessed with two things: full frontal nudity and the lord and saviour Jesus Christ"

      I did a spit take even though I wasn't drinking anything. Gold.

      Glad you enjoyed the show BT :)

    3. I love Martin Short, the movie Authur is priceless.

    4. Wanted to add that I saw the show again on the official opening night and the changes that were made only added to the fun. I predict a continued lazy, middling response from Toronto and then big things in New York. You heard it here first.

    5. awesome I put-off buying this for months, despite positive reviews. I tried every free weather app going and eventually decided to take the plunge. Glad I did - easily the most customisable weather widget and clock on caftan and the skins are awesome!



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