Tag Archives: comedy

Nik Rabinowitz’s What the EFF at the Baxter Theatre My Life 12 MAR 2015

Saturday evening was a rare date night for Chantelle and myself, and having left the kids with Oupa and Ouma for the evening, we jetted off to Cape Town for the evening, pointing our nose towards my old alma mater, the University of Cape Town – lower campus and the Baxter Theatre Centre to be more specific.

IMG_20150307_185953 the baxter theatre building interior

The plan for the evening was to arrive with plenty of time on our hands in order to enjoy supper at a nearby, particularly nice ribs and steak place that Chantelle had spotted on the Internet, followed by some tummy guffaws courtesy of the usually hilarious Nik Rabinowitz.

Our car safely parked, we headed down through the Baxter, marvelled at how beautiful the building is, took a selfie, and then exited the main doors – now on Rondebosch Main Street and ready to march on towards our dinner venue!

IMG_20150307_185945 craig and chantelle lotter taking a selfie in the baxter theatre

However, after a good ten minutes or so of walking, we realized via GPS that we had in fact marched down the road in completely the wrong direction, forcing us to now hastily turn around and march the other way – which needless to say put a rather serious crimp on our carefully planned time management for the night!

But things were about to get worse. We reached the ribs place only to find that the Internet had seemingly lied to us – this was no nice sit down restaurant, oh no. Heck, it had plastic red and white checkered table cloths and a fast food ordering station for goodness sake!

Luckily, the section of Main Road that we now found ourselves on doesn’t exactly suffer from a shortage of eating establishments, even if most seem geared towards the student crowd, and of particular interest to the two of us was the swanky sounding The Hussar Grill – perfect for a date night meal for two!

Sadly though, it was small, cramped and rather full. So full that we were turned away. Sigh.

So with time now very short, a snap decision was made, and we found ourselves seated down outside Cocoa Wah Wah, where the food wasn’t particularly bad and service in the end was pretty snappy. (We both had burgers in order to speed things up.)

Thus, with the food part of the evening now done and dusted, it was on to the main event for the evening!

From the Baxter website:

“It’s hard to live in South Africa for more than five minutes without looking around in wide-eyed bewilderment, and asking: What the EFF?.

Whether it’s hippies rubbing their chords together to produce solar energy, militants marching into parliament in Pep Store overalls and Italian shoes, or taxi drivers who manage to simultaneously cut you off and flip you the bird while paging through the newspaper and counting their money… at some point in every day, you will say: What the EFF?.

Fortunately, Nik Rabinowitz is here to answer that question. Or maybe not answer it, so much as shake it a bit, and see what falls out.

From the leafy green ganglands of Constantia, to the imaginary book storage lockers of Limpopo, Rabinowitz casts his eye far and wide, and muses: What the EFF?.

And if politics isn’t your cup of tea, there’s plenty of other ridiculousness that’ll have you shaking your head, and clutching your sides.

This show is 100% vegan and eco-friendly, and made up of 10% recycled material and 15% up cycled jokes. No punch lines were tested on animals. Bring your own canvas bag.

nik rabinowitz what the eff show

Right.

Neither Chantelle nor I had in fact ever been to a show at the Baxter Theater, and now that I have I most certainly will go there again. What a lovely venue! Anyway, back to the matter at hand.

The opening act was a young African comedian by the name of… well actually I don’t really remember his name so that’s a bit of a pity. Still, his racially charged comedy was humorous and his skill with the guitar excellent, making for a good start to the evening.

That then led into our favourite Xhosa-speaking Jewish comedian Nik Rabinowitz taking to the stage, a man I last saw in action a good six years ago!

Sadly for me this time around though, I just didn’t find the majority of his comedy and social commentary very funny – in fact, apart from the occasional chuckle here and there, the show was more than just a little bit on the boring and unfunny side for the two of us – so much so that Chantelle even managed to doze off for a bit! (Seriously, if you doze off at a comedy show then you know something isn’t quite right!)

Despite it’s good premise, the show is a bit lazy and loose, not really tying all the elements together very well and lacking in… well a punch lines to be fair. Yes, of course Nik’s accents and characters are all brilliant as usual, but unless they’re saying something witty or funny, well then that alone only takes you so far I’m afraid.

Honestly, we were glad when the show was over and we could spill out into the cool evening air. Neither of us had enjoyed it, in fact, so much so that we both kind of felt that we had just wasted a whole lot of money which could have been far better spent on the evening – like at The Hussar Grill for example! ;)

Anyway, to cap off what in the end had a bit of a disappointing date night out, we arrived back at our car, only to find that some idiot had parked their SUV right up against the driver’s side of our Hyundai Accent.

So it was some jean pant gymnastics for me to enter through the passenger’s side and make it across to the driver’s seat then – honestly, Chantelle should have left a lipstick message for the uncouth lout!

And that was that – other than the long drive home of course…

(Oh, and seeing as this was now the second strike out in terms of seeing comedy at a theater (Robert Fridjhon’s Wild also let us down a bit), we think we might take a little break from this genre for a while…)

Related Link: http://www.baxter.co.za/shows/what-the-eff/

Theatre on the Bay: Wild (with Robert Fridjhon) My Life 23 JAN 2015

I’m kind of looking forward to this evening to be honest. Following our recent trip to the always fantastic Theatre on the Bay to catch Alan Committie in his latest hysterical one-man show, Chantelle and I made a conscious decision to make a go at rekindling our “going out and seeing something” spirit which we seem to have kind of lost after having the kids – kicking things off with a trip straight back to Camps Bay tonight, back to our favourite little theatre on the bay! :)

Robert Fridjohn. Wild.

The newly opened show that we’re off to see is called Wild, written by and starring Robert Fridjhon, and directed by Alan Committie. From their own blurb:

“If ever you miss a dinner date with your girlfriend, common sense tells you that you’d better have a good excuse. Which I did … on both counts. And my excuse was outstanding. I was attacked … by a lion … at an office party … in a strip club … in Jo’burg. Well … ok … let me go back to the beginning.”

Multi-award-winning ROBERT FRIDJHON presents a new one-man comedy after a long sabbatical in theatre working with herds of actors. Bitingly humorous, often dark and touching, WILD is a fantastical account of one man’s accidental journey into the otherworldly realm of the animal kingdom where he meets a stray kitten, a herd of wildebeest and a lioness called Eleanor. Through them he discovers that the earth’s creatures know a lot more about him than he ever did.

WILD is based on Robert’s experiences in wildlife during which he was bitten, kicked and scratched (mostly by people), and then educated by lions.

I have seen Robert in one or two theatre pieces before (I particularly enjoyed Boeing! Boeing! from start to finish), and of course I did spot him on the rather admittedly awful Safe as Hausers sitcom that ran on SABC3 a little while back – but I can’t say I’ve ever seen him on his own, let alone him doing straight comedy.

So yeah, this should be fun(ny).

Oh, and as an added incentive to go and catch this while it is still on – Robert is donating 10% of his WILD earnings to the Drakenstein Lion Sanctuary (which we recently visited!).

Related Link: http://www.theatreonthebay.co.za/

Review: Ippatsu Kiki Musume (1999) Anime | My Reviews 05 MAY 2011

1999’s Ippatsu Kiki Musume from Director Hiroyoshi Yoshida is certainly an interesting beast. Weighing in at 16 episodes long with a running time of just 4 minutes per episode, Miss Critical Moment (its English title in case you are wondering) takes the world’s most unluckiest (and possibly most durable) girl Kunyan, and forces her into the most improbable, life threatening situations from which she somehow needs to extract herself.

From being trapped in a sauna with both shoulder and both hip joints dislocated, half swallowed by a 7.5 metre long giant python, trapped in mid-air between two high rises, to being stuck in a barrel with the threat of drowning thanks to an open water hose, Kunyan is always on the verge of death as the narrator methodically explains (with diagrams) what is happening, what the danger is, and what the chance of survival is. What then follows is a completely madcap scenario of some very flawed, but usually quite funny logic as the girls try to survive another day!

From using centrifugal force to dislodge a giant clinging crab from her face, blowing up a Father Christmas balloon with her farts to scare off a python, making an escape rope out of toilet paper to escape from a bathroom, to gaining leverage off a friend’s chin to escape a tight barrel, this crude and often quite hilarious anime will have you cringing at the situations poor Kunyan and the obnoxious American girl Linda find themselves in, and laughing out loud as the improbable escape logic kicks in and the girls try to get out of the mess (often self initiated) that they find themselves in!

The animation does the job it needs to do in a spectacularly humorous way, the voice artists are brilliant as the often panicked (but kind of calm thinking Kunyan and crude Linda) and overall the show works for some strange reason. Note the language is crude, there are a couple of naughty bits tossed in, and there is a fair bit of nudity involved, making Miss Critical not exactly suitable for younger viewers.

If you need something silly to quickly catch while having your morning cup of coffee, Ippatsu Kiki Musume certainly fits the bill.

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Date Night… An Opinion My Reviews 04 MAY 2010

It was pretty enjoyable.

I went to see Date Night with Chantelle the other night, and despite not being entirely what I expected (I expected a bit of a pointless movie with loads of laughs right the way through), I ended up quite enjoying it – this movie with a main, well built storyline focussing on the problems facing long term married couples with kids which then kind of gets mixed up with this completely improbable and mixed up scenario which is so action-packed and dripping with comedy that you just can’t help but enjoy it!

A shirt. Are you allergic to them then?

The movie tells the tale married with kids couple Phil and Claire Foster (Steve Carell and Tina Fey) who are in a bit of a rut in terms of their marriage but who still make the effort to go on “date nights” in order to keep their relationship alive.

On one particular evening though, Phil decides to try and go that extra mile and so they hit one of Manhattan’s most popular and hippest seafood restaurants at the moment to see if they’ll be lucky and get a table for dinner. But as could have been expected, the place is jam packed and the chances of them getting a cancellation is looking pretty slim – until Phil decides to hijack a reservation of a couple who obviously has decided not to show.

The dinner is fantastic, but the consequences of having hijacked that reservation is not – two armed thugs appear and take them for a walk, asking about a very specific little flashdrive – and under the complete impression that the Forsters are now the Triplehorns. What follows on from here is a madcap chase and adventure in which Phil and Claire need to stay one step ahead of the gun-toting thugs and attempt to catch up to the real Triplehorns in order to clear up this whole mess – though the only problem is that this little story is a lot more higher connected than anyone could possible imagine!

Both Tina Fey and Steve Carell are absolutely fantastic in this movie. They manage to capture that real world feel of a married couple and both have that wonderfully sharp and sarcastic wit that really works well off one another is an absolute barrel of laughs to see on screen. And as a comedy duo they just absolutely work (see the pole dancing sequence if you don’t believe me! :P). Outside of that we get great little performances from Ray Liotta of all people, Mark Wahlberg who appears allergic to shirts and William Fichtner of Prison Break fame.

In a nutshell, while not the necessary brainless and hilarious comedy I expected, Date Night is a fantastic fun movie that should be seen by married couples and fans of Steve Carell’s brand of humour. The chemistry between the lead actors is fantastic and there is actually quite a sweet story driving this madcap laugh a minute story, making Date Night well worth shelling your hard earned bucks out on!

Running Scared. For pretty much the whole movie actually!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_Night

Gin Tama (Volume 1) Manga | My Reviews 27 APR 2010

Nobody with Naturally Wavy Hair Can Be That Bad – The samurai didn’t stand a chance. First, the aliens invaded Japan. Next, they too all the jobs. And then they confiscated everyone’s swords. So what does a hotheaded former samurai like Sakata “Gin” Gintoki do to make ends meet? Take any odd job that comes his way, even if it means losing his dignity…

Sleazy alien moneylenders, monsters on the rampage, and a ticking time bomb may all be in a day’s work fo Gin, but a drop in blood sugar level means trouble for everyone!

Gin Tama is an interesting animal, that it is. Created by mangaka Hideaki Sorachi and launched back in 2003 already, Gin Tama has gone on to garner great success, constantly finding itself in Japan’s Top Ten Bestseller lists and has since spawned numerous TV, film and light novel extensions.

Set in the historic late Edo period, Gin Tama blends the historic with the current and then takes it one step further and mixes in aliens and sci-fi, making for quite the varied pot from which to pull an almost unending string of visual gags and puns from. Focusing on Gin, a laid back former samurai who has a penchant for violence and hitting things with his wooden sword (which is a lot when his blood sugar is running low), Gin Tama chronicles the various tales of Gin’s little Odd Jobs Gin company that takes on literally any job a customer might bring his way – which of course opens the door quite nicely for almost any sort of adventure, or misadventure that you can think of. Throwing in a young, ineffectual samurai student with glasses and an immoral, born to battle, super strong alien as Gin’s partners, volume 1 introduces us to the main set of characters and then goes on to lead us through three or four quickfire adventures which set the tone of the series, introduce characters and their backgrounds and provides plenty of laughs and action all in one go.

(And as an added bonus, one of Sorachi’s first unpublished manga pieces gets tacked on the end, just as a sample to the other storyline he might have ended up following had he chosen to or been given the go ahead on)

It’s difficult to pinpoint Sorachi’s aim with Gin Tama other than to make you laugh with the variety of visual, self-referencing and situational gags he keeps throwing at you but at the end of the day it is safe to say that Gin Tama is meant entirely as a laugh a minute, forget about your worries type of manga aimed at young men, and in that space it really works pretty well. It is genuinely funny (even if it does exploit some classic gags) and is filled to the brim with some great and energetic action sequences – not forgetting the myriad of misunderstandings that take place of course!

In terms of Sorachi’s pencils (he is responsible both for the writing and main drawing duties), he throws a wonderful amount of detail you way and his characters are all pretty much clean cut and nicely realized with some great old versus new designs – not to mention some particularly wacky hairstyles that Sorachi seems so intent on planting on the top of his villains’ heads.

Action sequences are greatly rendered and there is some nice power on display through his illustrations, as well as some remarkably funny character expressions that literally litter each page. Page compositions are generally quite tightly packed with a lot of panels per page, but the the amount of detail that is crammed into each panel is enough to slow one’s eye down enough that you tend not to miss anything as you read over it. Finally, it must be said that Sorachi certainly seems to have done his period homework and the mixture between drawing old and new in each panel is handled quite fantastically, so much so that it kind of leaves the reader in a rather bewildered state as to exactly which time period they’re currently sitting in – which is precisely what Sorachi imagined in the first place I’m sure.

(His aliens could do with a little more originality though I suppose!)

In summary then, Gin Tama is a really fun read for lovers of action and gags and with not too much drama or heavy handedness dragging it down the whole time, it really does make for some excellent escapist reading material. A fantastic setting that mixes everything together and spits out what is a really action-packed, unexpected experience that will definitely hook you if you fall within Sorachi’s target demographic.

Well worth picking up then in other words, though only if Mills and Boon isn’t particularly your thing! :P

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gin_Tama

Alan Committie is Fully Committied My Reviews 01 FEB 2010

Did I ever mention that Chantelle and I went to watch Alan Committie’s latest show at Theatre on the Bay a couple of weeks ago? No? Well in that case you’ve probably missed out then, because I’m pretty sure its finished its run (or should that be fun) by now!

Fully Committied was the show’s title and as always it was jam-packed to the brim with raucous laugh out loud humour that has become an Alan Committie trademark over the years. Following his usual varied topic discussion format, this time we got to see him talking about subjects varying from Dan Brown’s latest book all the way through to joggers and what they see in their heads, and not to be outdone by modern technology, we even got a great PowerPoint slideshow that included a variety of graphs, old photos and even a video clip of a beagle running in slow motion – simply majestic I tell you! ;)

As per usual, Alan’s alter ego, part time security guard extraordinaire, Johan van der Walt came out to play and building on last time’s successful new character launch, Alan’s impersonation of Springbok coach P.Divvy made his triumphant return to the stage as well.

Like I said, the show pretty much followed the same pattern as all his previous shows like Stressed to Kill, and Bigger, Better, Faster, but the level of comedy has stayed fresh and as always his interactions with the audience continues to be absolutely priceless.

Extremely witty, loaded with puns, Alan Committie has proved himself to be one of the few comedians that I actually enjoy going back to see over and over again, and if he continues to churn out these hilarious shows, then I’ll continue to plonk my butt down in support!

P.S. And yes, there was indeed someone from Bergvliet sitting in the audience as per usual! Shame, will they never learn? ;)

KFM Real Heavyweight Comedy Jam My Life | My Reviews 09 APR 2009

Real Heavyweight Comedy JamMan oh man, I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the KFM Real Heavyweight Comedy Jam held at Grandwest Casino last Thursday, where Claire, Riley, Chantelle and I met up for an evening of laughs and a quick supper at Squires before the main event kicked off.

KFM has been promoting comedy events for a while now, and The Real Heavyweight Comedy Jam is the latest product of their efforts, a big local boy event starring the well know South African comedians Nik Rabinowitz, Stuart Taylor, Martin Jonas, Chris Forrest and David Kau. MC for this particular show was the ever popular radio prankster and comedian, Darren “Whackhead” Simpson and before him we got to see KFM’s morning disc jockey, Ryan O’Connor in action, who surprisingly enough, made a pretty good account of himself.

The Grandwest Arena wasn’t the fullest I’ve ever seen it, but there were just in excess of 4000 people packed in, so it certainly wasn’t a badly attended event. We managed to snag quite nice seats on the retractable stands and thanks to a very good quality big screen and some nice lighting overhead, had an awesome view of both the live and close-up action.

Now old Whackhead Simpson I am not a fan of. Well at least on radio that is because I quite frankly find his voice to be nauseatingly annoying, but amazingly enough, seeing him live is a completely different story. The man was funny, entertaining, a little bit naughty like you’d expect him to be and in the end made for a marvellous MC who added a hell of a lot of laughs to an already side-splittingly funny show.

Of course the theme for the night was in general boxing, hence the Heavyweight tag, and so each act was prefixed with a beautiful ring-girl prancing out on stage holding up the round number, and this invariable led to a lot of shoelace-watching by all the husbands (and fiancées) in the audience lest their partners beat them over the head with a handbag. Needless to say this finer point in man-women relations was duly noted by the MC.

Round 1 for the evening turned out to be the lightest of the heavyweights, with the literally heavyweight Chris Forrest stepping up to the plate and delivering his signature deadpan comedy act. Initially it really is funny, but the deadpan wears thin pretty quickly, which would have been a problem if he didn’t have quite as many sharp and funny puns to counteract this with. I must admit that I did thoroughly enjoy his set, but in the end, must class him as the lightest weight for the evening’s entertainment (I’m obviously not including O’Connor because he isn’t a recognised comedian and wasn’t really part of the show).

Round 2 I believe was local Capetonian funny man Stuart Taylor who had us all laughing with his very funny, but true, reflections on married life and the nuances of man-wife relationships. However, despite his best attempts, he really couldn’t compete with Round’s 3 act because to be quite honest, the Jewish Xhosa-speaking and 2008 Stand Up Comedian of the Year, Nik Rabinowitz simply blew everyone straight out of the water. Here is a man that is simply put, an absolute comedy genius. With an arsenal of absolutely unbelievable impersonations he had the audience rolling around on the floor in tears with his tales of Gladys and Agnes reffing a rugby match amongst others – seriously the highlight of the evening if you ask me! :)

Round 4 served up a man named Martin Jonas, a comedian who I’ve never heard of and who despite his slow start, soon had me roaring out in laughter with his absolutely fantastic impersonations and humorous observations. (Just a note to Martin though, the standing ovation audience participation start-off really doesn’t work all that well when we’re still a bit cold towards you – try it at the end of the act would be my suggestion!)

Then finally, last but not least, the seeming headline act stepped into the ring and David Kau delivered his sought after goods, evoking a LOT of laughter from a very appreciative crowd. Funnily enough thought, despite laughing at his jokes, I did find myself not fully appreciating his set. In a fashion very similar to Pieter Dirk Uys and his Evita persona, a lot of David’s humour relies on him putting a humorous spin on some very real issues, issues who themselves if you stepped back for a minute and examined them without a comedy setting, are in fact quite dark and not funny at all pieces of reality of this world, and more particularly the country, that we ourselves live in.

And then there was the line he crossed which I really didn’t think funny at all. This was knee deep in the area of tastelessness, a place that most comedians skirt around and tickle a bit but never truly try to actually end up in unless absolutely necessary. Now we all know Morgan Tsvangirai recently lost his wife in an accident where a truck rode straight into them. Hit attempt? Maybe, no one thinks that but it is of course a possibility. So why then in God’s name must you make a joke about someone trying to kill Bob by ramming him with a car? Not cool David, not cool.

In any event, I absolutely loved the show and haven’t laughed this hard in absolute ages! Shame, I think the people around me must have thought me quite the madman the way I was carrying on – always funny because a lot of the time I tend to start laughing way before the comedian actually gets to his punchline – sometimes it’s just that obvious to me! :D

Also, the show was particularly worth it’s ticket price. Despite the fact that they had a bit of a late start, only kicking off well after 20:30 when the supposed start time was 20:00, the show did carry on until well after 23:00 (including a short half-time break) with almost all the comedians going over their alloted set time! Brilliant stuff I tell you!

So anyway, next time this show rolls back into town, I’ll definitely be there, front line of the queue and everything! :)

Mr. Woodcock My Reviews 01 MAY 2008

Mr WoodcockLetting go of your past is hard…especially when it is dating your mom!

John Farley (Seann William Scott) is a successful motivational speaker and author of a bestselling self help book centered on letting go of the past. Following his countrywide success, his small farming hometown in the heart of Nebraska invites him home to accept the corn of the city. Unfortunately for John though, although he talks a good talk, he doesn’t exactly play a good game, being himself unable to let go of his past, particularly the suffering and humiliation he suffered at the hands of his junior high sadistic gym teacher, Mr. Woodcock (Billy Bob Thornton).

Nevertheless, it is good to be home and see all the old sights and most importantly to once again visit with his beloved mother – only to recoil in horror when he learns that she is now in fact dating Mr. Woodcock. Unable to let the past go, John immediately steps in to battle against the seemingly unbeatable gym teacher from Hell in an effort to save his mom from Mr. Woodcock’s dastardly ways!

Mr. Woodcock is a 2007 comedy that is directed by fairly unknown Craig Gillespie and stars Seann William Scott, Billy Bob Thornton and Susan Sarandon in the lead roles.

Mr. Woodcock is a fairly interesting take on the woman caught between two men genre, but unfortunately this dynamic is really only the vehicle in which Gillepsie can push out the usual half-hearted sitcom-like comedic drivel that dozens of movies have brought us before. Most of the genuinely funny bits have already been spoilt by the trailer and the best part of the movie, namely the gym teacher from Hell sequence plays out right in the beginning of the movie, which ends up making Mr. Woodcock a bit of a bore to watch all the way through.

Of course, with a euphemistic title like Mr. Woodcock you know that this movie will feature tons of sex-related jokes and gags, but truly these are limited to those of a slightly lower intelligence level. It is a pity because beneath this average as hell movie, there actually lies quite a good story which is done a bit of injustice by the quality of the comedic script. Less reliance on physical comedy and perhaps some more puns might have worked a little better, but I hazard a guess that it is actually Seann William Scott’s performance that limits the movie’s comedic success, despite the fact that he portrays the goofy character so well – just way TOO well.

As it is, Seann William Scott is slowly but surely getting typecast as that goofy, loveable character, much in the vein of Ashton Kutcher, and he plays this role with unnatural ease. Unfortunately this type of role doesn’t always hold up so well for the duration of an entire movie, so you can’t help but start getting a little annoyed with the loveable simpleton. But that niggle aside, Sean does put in the perfect performance for the character and as such was a great pick. Surprisingly enough, Billy Bob Thornton is just as brilliant as the ‘army sergeant syndrome’ Jasper Woodcock, gym teacher from Hell. His sequences with the kids are probably the funniest in the whole movie and Billy Bob nails down the character perfectly. Of course, these two great performances means that we get great chemistry between Sean and Billy Bob, something essential in making this particular movie function.

Susan Sarandon plays the woman caught in the middle if Jasper’s affections as a suitor and John’s affections as her son and happens to play the only serious role in the entire movie. She does a solid job as the mom, but doesn’t do anything special so make the role stand out. And surprise, surprise, Ethan Suplee once again portrays the idiot, dim-witted and thick redneck type character but thankfully his annoyance is overridden by Amy Poehler’s superb hard-drinking and mean publisher character – cross her at your own risk!

Craig Gillespie does a decent enough job as the director, managing to portray the comedic sequences to great effect and presenting a solid visual experience. The dramatic, the action, the fun all of it is the sign of a competent director, but he does unfortunately do nothing to raise this movie up beyond the norm of quality for this genre and unfortunately this means he will remain firmly in that spot of unknown director.

Theodore Shapiro is the composer for Mr. Woodcock and is known for his work on these kind of comedies with some of his previous titles including The Devil Wears Prada, Fun with Dick and Jane, Idiocracy and You, Me and Dupree. He does a solid job and the fairly standard American pop/rock soundtrack blends in nicely with the story.

To sum it all up, you really can’t get more average than Mr. Woodcock. It really only has one or two genuinely funny bits (already spoiled by the trailer anyway) and somehow manages to feel as if it is dragging on forever. A lesson in mediocrity and really won’t entertain anyone apart from maybe a very, very, very bored male teenager. You can safely avoid this typical Seann William Scott outing which not even Billy Bob Thornton or Susan Sarandon stood a chance of saving in the first place.

Mr Woodcock1 Mr Woodcock2 Mr Woodcock3 Mr Woodcock4

Related Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0419984/

Stressed to Kill My Life | My Reviews 10 JAN 2008

Stressed to KillLast night marked the seventh month that I’ve been in a relationship with Chantelle, and what better way to mark this romantic event than with flowers (our new stricter dietary and exercise plan doesn’t allow for Lindt chocolate showers anymore) and an injection of culture, more specifically a trip to the theatre (albeit for a one man comedy show).

The venue in question was Theatre on the Bay, a cosy little intimate theatre situated in the heart of Camps Bay, the one man comedian was none other than the self-proclaimed One Man Committee of Comedy, Mr Alan Committie and the show was his hilarious Stressed to Kill, formerly known as Return to Send Up.

Theatre on the Bay advertises Stressed to Kill as:

In a compassionate move specifically designed to help all Capetonians and visitors to the Mother City stay sane this Festive Season, ALAN COMMITTIE presents his hysterical one man comedy show at Theatre on the Bay from the beginning of December. In this, his 7th personally-penned one-man show, ALAN takes a look at how we cope in the modern world, with – and without – cellphones, computers, e-mail, golf, movies, television, flying, Enid Blyton and security! You know, …my cellphone’s smaller than your cellphone’ and that kind of thing …

Culture is put under the spotlight in a daring expos’ of why opera, ballet and contemporary dance are so meaningful that nobody actually understands them, while a dear old favourite, Johan van der Walt, star of the MNET series LAUGH OUT LOUD, makes a welcome return with his masterclass in self-defence!

Knowing that he is currently responsible for handling the highly successful and long, long running South African comedic show, Defending the Caveman (previously Tim Pluman’s baby), I kind of expected Stressed to Kill to pretty much play out in a similar way, a kind of story driven show with elements of comedy in it. However, much to my surprise (and utter enjoyment), Stressed to Kill is nothing more than a laugh a minute stand-up comedy routine that examines various aspects of daily life and looks at the hilarity inherit in each situation.

Alan interacts continuously with the crowd and in doing so feeds off them much to their detriment. Beware if you are from out of town, an international guest or even worse’ from Tableview. Also, sitting in the front couple of rows probably isn’t the best idea either, particularly if you don’t want to become an impromptu part of the show.

This two hour long show covers a lot of ground. We are taken through a host of daily activities which Alan masterfully dissects and points out the humour to us, being sure to throw in copious amounts of gags and puns along the way. He then examines a lot of past activities that we as an older audience appreciates, like looking at Enid Blyton’s works, the days before the cellphone and the pleasure of going to drive-ins. As a treat, we even get to experience an authentic Dinner for One reproduction, complete with inconveniently placed animal skin rug!

The show gets interrupted with a special guest appearance of Johan van der Walt (Alan Committie), most recently seen on MNET’s Laugh Out Loud show. A highly officious, disturbingly pedantic and rude man, Van Der Walt is a part-time Sheriff of the Court and full-time bumbling. Alan’s character is a riot to watch as he extracts humour not thought possible out of a wonderful mixing of Afrikaans and English – and his self defence course is guaranteed to have you in stitches! Karate!

We get a wonderful rendition of a one man jazz band and then when you think it is all over, Alan surprises you with a hilarious look at why in the world contemporary dance and ballet is so deep and meaningful – even if no one understands it!

As a comedian, Alan is the whole package. Charmingly funny, impeccable ability to pull puns and gags out of almost any situation (Noddy having aural sex with Big Ears?) and a commanding voice and stage presence that draws and holds your attention for the entire duration of this laugh out loud session, Alan is just one of those top drawer comedians that shouldn’t be missed.

And if you don’t laugh at the stressful life of a triangle player in the philharmonic orchestra, then there is most definitely something wrong with your funny bone!

For more information on Alan Committie – comedian, stand-up comic, actor, director, writer, producer, Master of Ceremonies, facilitator and – hide your children – fully qualified school teacher – go to his website www.alancommittie.co.za. Definitely one of those thousand-gags a-minute comedian and actor to watch out for in the future. Highly, highly recommended!

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