BWW Review: JACKIE HOFFMAN: THEMELESS Burns Down Joe's Pub
Darlings, last night we watched Joe's Pub BURN to the ground! Set on FIRE by the incendiary Jackie Hoffman's fire breathing mouth. This perennial of such New York musical comedy classics as Hairspray, On The Town, her star turn in Once Upon A Mattress, and the current Off-Broadway hit-of-the-season A Kleyn Eydish (oh the heck with it) Fiddler On The Roof - In Yiddish no less, held forth with stand-up and lay-them-in-the-isles comedy songs for 70(ish) minutes that have us still laughing and wanting more; even though we are SORE from all the laughter.
La Hoffman's latest Joe's Pub installation; Jackie Hoffman; THEMELESS is an evening to remember. Beginning with with silver fox, Bobby Peaco (music) and Hoffman's (lyrics) high-larious song "Join The Conversation" (a battle cry Ms. H brays again and again throughout the evening) Jackie is off to the races sharpening her tone and her tongue by skewering the latest tropes, traps and tricks of today's UBER politically correct, can't make fun of NOBODY cuz we're all too plugged-in society.
Nothing is off-limits, too taboo or tender a bear for this lady's poking; and poke she does. Along with Join The Conversation, there are other such comic compositions that bring to the fore, her time as a guest star on the Cosby Show (While They Were Sleeping) and America's favorite pastime; Mass Shootings! This song being the most dangerous number of the night as it swung so close to the edge of falling in the TANK. But her perseverance with the satire and Hoffman's final lyric save the number and put it over as a total home run, just as many of the audience were turning away from Hoffman and her uncomfortable subject matter. As a former player with Chicago's Second City though, Jackie knows you have to make them squirm to get at the good stuff and this she does with razor-sharp perfection.
As for her stand up material, the only audience member who laughed harder than us was Lesbo Comedy Queen, Judy Gold, who at one point even found herself a subject in Hoffmans' material. And if a veteran like Gold thinks you're funny, darlings you know you've done something.
This Wicked Witch of the West Bank spits out poisonous jokes designed to whither everything in today's society AND herself; from her own Jewishness (something she said kept her from being cast in no less than 3 Broadway revivals of Fiddler) to her never-ending list of physical ailments... Rheumatoid Arthritis IN HER EYE!
Which reminds us, Jackie may have a titanium hip, but she also has a titanium larynx that she pulls in as many directions as she does her rubber face. How she produces all the sounds, songs and voices she does throughout the show with nary a sign of fatigue or a sour note (unless she needs one) is a miracle. Jackie Hoffman IS a Singer, An Actress, A writer and most deliciously one of our great clowns on the order of Carol Burnett & Lucille Ball (not Lucille Lortel - though she was nominated for one of those awards.). We do not make these compliments lightly but must make them because the lady EARRRRRRNED them. If you love becoming breathless from laughter with an occasional "Oh Dear, should I be laughing at THAT?!" Then this PG-13 show is for you.
We give this show 5 out of 5 Rainbows!