Comedy Snippets: Waitress, Ruthless The Musical +

comedy snippets 30082020Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.

Waitress
As West End venues are still closed down I’ve been having to resort to the dark side of the net (eg Reddit) to see big theatrical plays and musicals, and the latest to be released is this is pro-shot version of the musical based on the Adrienne Shelly indie comedy drama, where in a small pie obsessed diner three waitresses have to try and deal with the craziness life and love throws up at them. So Jenna’s struggling because she’s pregnant by her shit of a husband yet in lust with her Doctor, Becky’s in a sex-less marriage but fucking the diner’s cook, and Dawn’s single but semi-stalked by a weirdo – Can any of them find happiness? Yes, yes they can, this is a feel good musical after all, where the songs are often very catchy with fun lyrics, though the second half is lacking a killer track, one which will have you falling madly in love with the piece (with Take It From An Old Man coming closest, but not quite being good enough), which is a shame as those in the first are definitely more memorable. Still, the characters are appealing, the lead actress is especially strong, the script is a smart one, and the mostly happy ending manages to avoid cliche and offers up hope for our motley crew, even if Becky’s plotline is all but forgotten about and it could / should have been a little less predictable in general.

Ruthless The Musical
Another pro-shot musical, this one’s about the perils of stardom as a very young actress is prepared to do anything to attain fame, and soon her mother becomes obsessed with stardom too. It’s a strange mix, the first half is very funny, there’s lots of mockery and commentary of the genre (one song is from the perspective of a critic who sings about how much she hates musicals which amuses greatly), and the kid’s a great comedic actress even if her singing voice occasionally grates. But the second half descends in to silliness, some of the fourth wall breaking is far too on the nose, and the ending is weak and then some. Also, while fine none of the songs are that great, and it’s definitely not a soundtrack I have any urge to own.

The Last Five Years
Which begins with Anna Kendrick lamenting a failed relationship between Kendrick’s struggling actress and Jeremy Jordan’s successful writer, before we jump back and witness a selection of vignettes from their five years together as hers detail the relationship as it moves backwards from the end to the beginning and his do the opposite. It’s song after song after song with barely any spoken dialogue and the majority of them are great, Kendrick’s quickly becoming an actress I’m shockingly fond of after this, Dummy and The Day Shall Come, while Jordan (also very strong in the pro-shot version of Newsies) is great too. Musically there’s not a huge amount of variation, but the songs have a mixture of very sweet, funny and affecting lyrics, and so I rate it highly.

Howard
This documentary turned up on Disney+ a couple of weeks ago, all about Howard Ashman, the writer (and sometimes director, at least theatrically) of some of the best musicals ever made like Little Shop Of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. It’s not a documentary which is particularly hilarious, especially given that it’s the tale of his life from childhood to death, and it covers his falling ill with HIV and sadly finally dying at the far too young age of 40, but it is a fascinating insight in to a man who created some of the funniest films ever made. Admittedly if you’re not a musicals fan there’s probably not that much that you’d find interesting, but if you are I’m all but certain that you’ll love it, mainly because there’s a great selection of talking heads, a good deal of interview footage of Howard, and its a fascinating to see how he created some of Disney’s best ever movies.

Video Of The Week
Pulling off musical parodies is pretty damn hard but Eliza Kingsbury’s proven she’s impressively skilled at doing so, having produced some great musical comedy in the past, and she does so here again with this very funny pastiche of Lady Gaga’s songs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-PHXxWuGT8&feature=youtu.be

Link Of The Week
The reputation of musicals has ebbed and flowed over the years, but this great Playbill article suggests we’re currently living through a golden age, and it’s an argument that I strongly agree with while also being a fun read too. https://www.playbill.com/article/are-we-living-in-a-new-golden-age-of-musical-theatre

Alex Finch.
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Previous Comedy Snippets:
23/08/2020 – Star Trek: Lower Decks, Other Space, Moone Boy, Yes God Yes
16/08/2020 – Corporate, Central Park, Opening Night, Only Lovers Left Alive
09/08/2020 – Die Hart, Middle England by Jonathan Coe, Sleeping With Other People, The One and Only
02/08/2020 – In My Skin, Norsemen, American Ultra, My Neighbors The Yamadas
26/07/2020 – Don’t, Central Park, Giuseppe Makes A Movie, Turbo Kid
19/07/2020 – Man To Man With Dean Learner, James Ross – Leopardoptera, No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July, Laughter In Paradise
12/07/2020 – The Ghost Of Peter Sellers, French Exit by Patrick DeWitt, The Man In The White Suit, Ninotchka
05/07/2020 – The Kominsky Method, Tournament Of Laughs, Elliot Allagash by Simon Rich, The Monster Squad
28/06/2020 – Man Seeking Woman, Spoiled Brats, The World Of Simon Rich, Inside Out
21/06/2020 – A Young Doctor’s Notebook, Crossing Swords, The Insecurities Of Dill, Manborg
14/06/2020 – Upstart Crow, La Princesca de la Woking, Solar Opposites, The Muppet Movie
07/06/2020 – Jeeves And Wooster, JJ Villard’s Fairy Tales, She Loves Me, Where’s Marlowe?
31/05/2020 – It Started As A Joke, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, Best Worst Movie, The Aristocrats
24/05/2020 – Solar Opposites, Daniel Kitson – The Interminable Suicide Of Gregory Church, Jimmy O. Yang – Good Deal, How To Marry A Millionaire
17/05/2020 – What We Do In The Shadows, JJ Villard’s Fairy Tales, Down The Line, Bolt
10/05/2020 – The Toxic Avenger The Musical, Kinky Boots, The Simpsons, Wrong
03/05/2020 – Crank Yankers, Code 404, Upload, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
26/04/2020 – Oh Hello On Broadway, Emily Heller – Ice Thickeners, Sam Morril – I Got This, Were The World Mine
19/04/2020 – American Dad, Maeve In America Essays By A Girl From Somewhere Else by Maeve Higgins, Quiz, Simple Men
12/04/2020 – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Dave, Broke, Bran Nue Dae
05/04/2020 – Super Buddies, Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens, Future Man, The Magicians
29/03/2020 – Kate & Koji, The Unicorn, Miracle Workers: Dark Ages, The Suicide Shop
22/03/2020 – Eugenius The Musical, Cake, Modern Family, Avalanche Sharks
15/03/2020 – It’s Personal With Amy Hoggart, Mike Tyson Mysteries, The Simpsons, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists
08/03/2020 – The Windsors, Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, The Big Sick
01/03/2020 – Everything’s Going To Be Okay, High Fidelity, Duncanville, His Girl Friday
23/02/2020 – Outmatched, The Secret Diaries Of Alan Bennett, Avenue 5, Hot To Trot
16/02/2020 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Indebted, Sex Education, Turn Me On, Dammit!
09/02/2020 – Joe Pera Talks With You, Miracle Workers: Dark Ages, Bless The Harts, A Boy And His Dog
02/02/2020 – Sex Education, Avenue 5, Digger, Premature
26/01/2020 – Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Goes Wrong Show, Mum, Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!
19/01/2020 – You’re The Worst, The Skewer, Kongen Befaler, Sisters
12/01/2020 – John Mulaney And The Sack Lunch Bunch, Sex Education, Derry Girls, Frozen II
05/01/2020 – Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes, How To Produce Comedy Bronze by Jon Plowman, The Rocky Horror Picture Show Comic, The Rutles – All You Need Is Cash
29/12/2019 – Mrs Fletcher, Harley Quinn, What A Fucking Year On Tv With Mel B and Mel B, Cafe Society
22/12/2019 – Content, Ladhood, Silicon Valley Ten Years Later The Extended Documentary, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
15/12/2019 – Astronomy Club The Sketch Show, South Park, Joe Pera Talks With You, Lavalantula
08/12/2019 – Mom, Mock The Week, Sunnyside, The Ten
01/12/2019 – Vic and Bob’s Big Night Out, Kongen Befaler (aka Taskmaster Norway), Harry Hill’s Clubnite, Scout’s Guide To The Apocalypse
24/11/2019 – Wellington Paranormal, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Tourist Trap, The Adventures Of Rocky and Bullwinkle
17/11/2019 – 2100: A Space Novelty, Silicon Valley, Zomboat, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
10/11/2019 – Do You Want To See A Dead Body?, Taskmaster, The Good Place, A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
03/11/2019 – Bojack Horseman, Comedians Giving Lectures, Living With Yourself, A Town Called Panic
27/10/2019 – Joe Pera Talks With You, Would I Lie To You?, The Band Wagon, Tucker and Dale Vs Evil
20/10/2019 – Star Trek Discovery Short Treks, Zomboat, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, High Society
13/10/2019 – Perfect Harmony, Family Guy, Afternoon Delight, The Death Of Dick Long
06/10/2019 – Bless The Harts, South Park, Stath Lets Flats, She’s Out Of My League
29/09/2019 – Danny’s House, Hot Date, Idiotsitter, Crimewave
22/09/2019 – Alternatino with Arturo Castro, The Good Place The Selection, American Dad, American Reunion
15/09/2019 – Off The Air, Taskmaster, Elvira Mistress Of The Dark Issues 1 – 3, Smiley Face
08/09/2019 – Amusical, The Mind Of Herbert Clunkerdunk, Fleabag, Digby The Biggest Dog In The World
01/09/2019 – Final Space. On Becoming A God In Central Florida, In Fabric, Archie’s Final Project
25/08/2019 – A Black Lady Sketch Show, Bajillion Dollar Properties, The Righteous Gemstones, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
18/08/2019 – Sherman’s Showcase, Succession, Hesher, God Bless America
11/08/2019 – The Day Shall Come, Preacher, Archie Vs Predator II, Juan Of The Dead
04/08/2019 – Mike Tyson Mysteries, The Boys, Los Espookys, Hamlet 2
28/07/2019 – Lodge 49, Fortysomething, Mutafukaz, Brazil
21/07/2019 – Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, Neighbors From Hell, Live At The BBC – Desiree Burch, Robot and Frank
14/07/2019 – Another Period, Suzi Ruffell – Dance Like Everyone’s Watching, The Mark Thomas Comedy Product, Observe And Report
07/07/2019 – Bridget and Eamon, Action Team, Everything Sucks, Sisters.
30/06/2019 – Taskmaster, Year Of The Rabbit, Santa Versus Dracula, Poultrygeist – Night of the Chicken Dead
23/06/2019 – The Unauthorised Bash Brothers Experience, Trigger Warning With Killer Mike, Taskmaster Sweden, City Lights
16/06/2019 – Rick and Morty Issue 50, Spiderman / Deadpool Issue 50, Lobo Goes To Hollywood, Superhero Movie
08/06/2019 – Archer, The Jellies, Mom, Bye Bye Birdie.
01/06/2019 – Rostered On, Historical Roasts, American Dad, The Phantom Of The Paradise
23/05/2019 – Barry, Urban Myths, Goatface, Shazam!
18/05/2019 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Taskmaster, Documentary Now, The History Of Future Folk
10/05/2019 – Dead Pixels, Santa Clarita Diet, Scot Squad, Lemon
03/05/2019 – What We Do In The Shadows, Lazor Wulf, Al Murray’s Great British Pub Quiz, Brigsby Bear
26/04/2019 – Barry, Bonding, Special, Repo The Genetic Opera
19/04/2019 – Hot Streets, Lazor Wulf, Tacoma FD, The Tick, Safety Last
12/04/2019 – The Unexplainers, The Tick, The Funny Women Awards 2019, Popstars Never Stop Popping
04/04/2019 – Santa Clarita Diet, Abby’s, This Time With Alan Partridge, Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein
28/03/2019 – Wayne, Blockbusters, Bill And Ted Face The Music, Hoodwinked
21/03/2019 – Shrill, A.P. Bio, One Red Nose Day And A Wedding, PK
14/03/2019 – Corporate, The Harry Hill Movie, CJ7, The Day Will Come
07/03/2019 – This Time With Alan Partridge, Frank Skinner On Demand, Girlfriend’s Day, Comic Relief
28/02/2019 – Hot Streets, Warren, Mom, Stage Fright
21/02/2019 – Jon Glaser Loves Gear, Corporate, Doom Patrol, Nudist Colony Of The Dead
14/02/2019 – American Dad, Pen15, Afterlife, The Return Of Captain Invincible
07/02/2019 – The Other Two, Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas, Roast Battle, Guys And Dolls
31/01/2019 – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Tigtone, Angie Tribeca, Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life, Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast
24/01/2019 – Oh Lucy!, Blark And Son, Angie Tribeca
17/01/2019 – The Day Shall Come, Family Guy, Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast, Jon Glaser Loves Gear
10/01/2019- Best Week Ever With Paul F. Tompkins, Vice, Catastrophe, Angie Tribeca

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