Sunday, November 23, 2008

Puttin' on the Kritz

Are we living in a golden age of funny women? Oh yes we do. While the Apatow gang and the frat pack make what feels like a gazillion movies a year, the truly incisive fun comes from women. So why Tina Fey, Wanda Sykes, Kristen Wiig, Sarah Silverman and Amy Poehler don't overtake the movie screens the way Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell or the inexplicably ubiquitous Seth Rogen do is beyond me. (And let's not even broach the issue of Seth Rogen getting the cool chicks. AAARGGGHHHH!) As much as I love The 40 Year Old Virgin, everything else Judd Apatow has produced is dreck. The Sheila and tried to watch Step Brothers last night and gave up after less than half an hour: The sight of Ferrell and John C. Reilly as 40-year-old children involved in a deep bromance with each other was just too pathetic. I do have a teeny tiny bit of a thing for Ferrell—ah, Blades of Glory—but Step Brothers was just too much infantilization.

Okay, deep breath. And now back to the awesome chicks.

On Thursday, we saw the Encores! production of On the Town, which was a treat from beginning to end. I just can't get tired of hearing those classic scores performed by the large and in charge Encores! orchestra—which was even bigger than usual for this run, and really did justice to Bernstein's work. And I was once again reminded of how Betty Comden and Adolph Green really are among my very favorite Broadway artisans.

Playing horny cab driver Hildy Esterhazy was longtime Dilettante fave Leslie Kritzer. She did a great job with the swinging "I Can Cook Too" and narrowly avoided a total disaster when her dress got caught in the head of costar Justin Bohon during "Come Up to My Place" and she almost fell off the chair she was standing on. You kinda had to be there.

The only reason Kritzer wasn't the biggest scenery chewer that night is that Andrea Martin was also in the cast and laid waste to everything in sight. Martin managed to repeatedly crack up Jessica Lee Goldyn (who played Miss Turnstiles Ivy Smith), particularly when, explaining vocal techniques, she lunged at Goldyn's breasts, bellowing "The resonators!" Comedy gold!

Anyway, Kritzer seems to be branching out into straight-up laffs as opposed to pure musical theater, and she's set up a dedicated channel on YouTube that includes her audition video for Saturday Night Live (I'm not sure if she actually submitted it to the show or not). Now that Pushing Daisies seems to be cancelled, can we get Kritzer and Chenoweth in a show? I'm not sure Broadway could take the both of them together, though.

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