By Tulis McCall
I don’t laugh in the theatre very much. I am one of those quiet Connecticut laughers who watch and think, “That’s funny.”
The night I saw Laughing Liberally I laughed so hard I barked.
The performers (the lineup changes every night – John Fugelsang is the constant) are John Fugelsang who, with a name like that had to learn to be funny at a very young age; Natalie Reagan who, as an anthropologist, knows a lot about primates and can therefore speak to their shame in being related to us; Judah Friedlander who is running for President on qualifications not much shakier than the schlump doing it now; and Ted Alexandro who has noticed life changing at the tender age of 50.
This is a fast paced night with the funny folks handing off the mic as if it were a baton in a relay race.
Reagan had a few good lines tossed out, but the literal “comic pacing” often made her look uncertain of what was next. Perhaps she was improvising. She is one smart cookie, though.
Fugelsang’s comedy is almost an aria. He flows from one topic to another without a hiccup, and one particular rant is so elegant that it is for sale on a T-shirt after the show. A taste: “Jesus was a long-haired, brown skinned homeless community organizer …who never asked a leper for a co-pay.”
Friedlander, as a presidential candidate, welcomes questions from the audience: College debt? Answer – get rid of college. All college including the electoral college. Prison reform? Just call them gated communities and that will be that. He takes on all questions in a set that went a tad too long, and most off them he knocks out of the park. When he doesn’t you can hear him filing that one away so that he is ready the next time.
Ted Alexandro has a relaxed manner and delivery, but don’t let that fool you. He is spot on. At 50 years old he discovered that he can wake up injured. Just from relaxing he can get hurt, because it just takes less to hurt him.
These are funny people of whom I have never heard. Fine – I live under a rock. What a beautiful enormous surprise to have them gift wrapped and delivered all together on the same night. The thought of our president make me pretty much want to vomit all the time. These comedy pros took different paths to swing me back around to hope and hilarity. Laughing is a physical release that a person needs. You don’t laugh – you don’t live. And a lot of us have been on the short end of laughter for the past two years. That lack can crush the soul.
Not for nuthin’ but James Comey said he never saw this President laugh. One needs no more proof of laughter’s importance than that.
GET YOUR BUTTS OVER THERE!! Your health, not to mention your sanity, depends on it.
Presented by Laughing Liberally, in association with Eric Krebs, Make America Laugh Again will be presented for 15 performances only (September 3-21) at The Theater at St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street-between 9th & 10th Avenues). https://www.laughingliberallyny.com TICKETS HERE
Here is the lineup for the run.