I had the pleasure of catching the very first public performance of Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, now playing in San Francisco (April 25-May 21) and coming to Toronto (May 27-July 2) and Chicago (July 5-16) on its way to an August 10th Broadway debut. Written by Short and the hysterical Tony Award-winning musical team of Mark Shaiman and Scott Whittman (Hairspray, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, and Team America: World Police), Fame had me laughing so loud that the couple in front of me wished for my premature death. This "comedy musical" with a cast of six sends up every maudlin one-person show you’ve ever seen seen including those of Elaine Stritch, Billy Crystal, and Liza Minelli. Because Short by all accounts has had a relatively trouble-free life,
he tries desparately to invent the family dysfunction required by the genre. More after the jump…
In the style of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink revue musicals such as the Broadway Melody films and Hellzapoppin’, this song/dance/vaudeville/comic confection is unabashedly silly, politically incorrect and deeply hilarious. You’ll find parodies of dozens of broadway musicals (Dreamgirls, Les Mis) and their
personnel, including a nine foot Tommy Tune on stilts and a
myocardially infarcted Bob Fosse. Short alter ego Jiminy Glick appears for an extended riff with a member of the audience. Ellen DeGeneres, Joan Rivers, the American Idol judges and myriad other celebrities are shredded by the talented supporting cast. Originally with Canada’s legendary
Second City Television troupe and then Saturday Night Live, Martin Short
demonstrates his absolutely perfect mockery of self-congratulation,
narcissistic performers and smugness that will have you wetting your pants. Buy your tickets early.