Eddie Izzard/Passing Strange (2/20/2008)

This is an older post from my jamuse.com blog, which I am relocating to blogger.

This past weekend I was lucky enough to see 2 great shows. On Saturday, Janet, Elaine and Kurt joined me for Eddie Izzard’s stand-up show. It’s been at least 2 years (maybe 3?) since his last performance(s) in New York. What I find so amazing is that he keeps to some of the same main subjects (world history, religion, computers, and toast with jam) but is able to come up with completely new and completely hilarious jokes for each show. I have seen him perform about 8 times now and I always wonder how much of his act or subject matter is planned in advance and how much is improvised. It has to be a combination of the two, because the things he relates together in his jokes or what leads him from joke to joke seems so obscure, as if it occurred to him at that moment. One of the things I like best about his humor is that he’ll take an idea that people tend to believe or take for granted and question it. For example, his main subject matter that night seemed to be his issues with Intelligent Design and the fanatics who believe in it. He asked, “If you were God and you created the earth and all of its life forms in 6 days, and had that all written out in the Bible, wouldn’t you also want to brag about creating the whole rest of the universe, and all other universes?” His delivery was funnier of course, but that’s a good example of some of the things he brings up. Other jokes are just plain silly in a great way, like miming a snake driving a speedboat.

Sunday afternoon I had a discount ticket to Passing Strange on Broadway, a new rock & roll musical. The music was really great, I’m still singing some of the lyrics in my head. (because me singing them out loud would really be an insult to the show!) I found inspiring messages in the story about a young man from South Central L.A. who leaves home to live in Europe for a few years to discover himself and explore his musical talents. I’m pretty sure the story is loosely based on Stew’s, the narrator’s, life at that age and his relationship with his mother. There was a moment towards the end of the show that really grabbed my attention. Basically they were saying (singing) that wherever you are in life for whatever reason or choices you have made, that you should remember that “it’s alright!” I always like being reminded of that, since sometimes I find myself wondering: Why I haven’t had more public acknowledgment or higher accomplishment (such as more stuff being published or paid for in some way!) concerning my artwork. Is it purely because of the choices I have made? … Choosing to sleep in instead of forcing myself out of bed so I can get a few more hours out of the day? Going out with friends more often instead of dedicating more of that time for moving forward on whatever portfolio piece I am working on? I read a bit more about the creation of the show and Stew and co-creator Heidi Rodewald worked the story and songs for about 10 years. It was first performed in Berkeley, CA, then eventually made the jump to Off-Broadway NYC at the Public Theater last year, and now it’s a full-fledged Broadway show. So, greatness does take time to develop. There’s still a chance for me yet!

2 responses to “Eddie Izzard/Passing Strange (2/20/2008)”

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