Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

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Eating It Up at Westville

Categories: Latest News
Posted: March 28, 2013
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Westville
 
One of the great things about performing a weekly late comedy show in Soho is the neighborhood’s vibrancy. There are terrific places to eat, grab a drink, listen to live music or go clubbing within a five minute walk of Soho Playhouse. And, one of the newer additions to the neighborhood is the latest outpost of Westville. Roomy, airy and inviting, this version of the delicious restaurant is perfect for meetings or a pre-show meal. And it’s a two block walk to the theater.
 
I’m not the only one crowing about the place. Westville at 333 Hudson rates 4.5 stars on Yelp.com. It is perfect for carnivores, omnivores and vegetarians alike. The market sides are always fresh and cooked to perfection. I’m particularly a huge fan of the brussels sprouts and bok choy. The tofu is also a winner. The burgers and chicken are pretty great too.
 
If you’re looking for a place to grab a bite before Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, consider Westville. Or if you’re just in the neighborhood, stop by. I promise you’ll be delighted. And your wallet will be too.



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Tilda Swinton Slept Here

Categories: Latest News
Posted: March 25, 2013
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The hottest news in New York is that the Big Apple has its own Sleeping Beauty. This is no Disney princess, but rather ethereal Scottish actress Tilda Swinton sleeping in a glass box — and not in pajamas btw — at one of the most revered art museums in the world, The Museum of Modern Art. The Oscar-winning Swinton’s turn at performance art, entitled The Maybe, is drawing notoriety from nearly every news outlet ranging from Gothamist.com to People Magazine.
 
Tilda Swinton
Photo Credit: Ming Chen Liao
 
Performance art is a popular form of artistic expression in big cities — where living and doing can be seen as having entertainment value and/or the opportunity to wow audiences. In some cases, like illusionist David Blaine, performance artists can dream up fantastical feats to overcome — being buried alive, or frozen in a block of ice or surrounded by Tesla coils. In others, it’s a different kind of endurance, think Marina Abramović and her The Artist Is Present where she spent over 700 hours staring intently at one person at a time in 2010. Also, at MoMA. Or take the late comedian Andy Kaufman, who took on pro wrestler Jerry the King Lawler in the ring and was the king of other grand stunts.
 
With all this excitement over Swinton at MoMA, I thought about the top five things I — as a New York based comedian — could do as a performance art piece.

 
(5) Drive a cab — I already do this AFTER my late night Saturday show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer. Is there anything more New York than a yellow cab?
 
Ted Greenberg, cab
 
(4) Eat a slice of pizza. Or a lot of slices of pizza. The Village is known for its pies — pizza pies. Chowing on a slice of tomato sauce and mozzarella is the Big Apple to the core.
 
(3) Read the New York Post or New York Daily News. The New York Times owns the cultural currency of this town, but the Post and Daily News are great for gossip and sports, respectively. And every New Yorker I know loves gossip and sports. The life blood of this city.
 
(2) Sitting courtside with Spike and Woody at Madison Square Garden. Gotta love the Knicks, and how much fun would it be to watch Melo and the guys play from the front row. This seems like the easiest performance art gig in the world.
 
Spike Lee
 
(1) Have my own Mascot! I already do. Check out how handsome he is.
 
What would you do for performance art in this city?



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The Top Five Guests for The Tonight Show’s Return to New York

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: March 21, 2013
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Yesterday, news leaked that The Tonight Show may move back to New York after four decades in Los Angeles. The New York Times, among other outlets, reported that Jimmy Fallon is expected to take over hosting duties by fall 2014, and one of the most storied shows in television history will return to 30 Rockefeller Center.
 
If Fallon shifts to The Tonight Show, his gig at Late Night will be up for grabs. Gothamist has already weighed in about the top 20 possible Fallon replacements. My favorite is Pat Kiernan, the NY1 host. He already has game show host and news anchor experience behind him, and his eternal geniality would make a great replacement for Fallon’s brand of nice-guy comedy. My second choice from Gothamist’s list is, of course, Jeffrey Tambor. But, that’s because I would watch him do just about anything.
 
jimmy fallon
 
The real scintillating question is who will be Fallon’s first guest(s) on the New York-based The Tonight Show? I offer my top five choices:
 
(5) Mayor of New York — At this point, it’s hard to know who will lead the Big Apple in fall 2014, but with the return of the show to NYC, the current mayor would be a great guest. With the recent passing of the always colorful Ed Koch and with Bloomberg out of office by the beginning of the year, that leaves whichever contender rises to the top.
 
(4) Jay-Z — Does anyone else in the Big Apple have the cool factor to match Jay-Z? The musician and businessman has made The Barclays Center and Brooklyn the place to be. He’s rocked audiences nationwide and is married to one of the most beautiful women in the world. And, he’s a New Yorker, through and through.
 
(3) Drew Barrymore — Sure the new mama is known for her appearances on David Letterman’s show (who can forget her dancing on his desk?), but she’s got strong ties to Fallon, her co-star in the romantic comedy, Fever Pitch. He’s also married to her co-producer friend, Nancy Juvonen. I’m sure Barrymore and Fallon would have lots to talk about.
 
(2) Conan O’Brien — Talk about a ratings bonanza. Conan returns to The Tonight Show after the debacle surrounding his unceremonious dumping as host just a few years prior. Sure, Coco has recovered nicely — thanks to a documentary, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, and his TBS late night talk show, simply titled Conan.
 
(1) Lorne Michaels — He’s the kingmaker, the producer who has launched and shaped careers by the dozens. Since Fallon got his start on Michaels’ Saturday Night Live, it would be a fitting tribute to interview Michaels for the first episode.



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March Madness Is Here

Categories: Latest News
Posted: March 18, 2013
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The most important day in March was yesterday. Not St. Patrick’s Day (though that’s up there), but the NCAA basketball bracket reveal. If you thought the bars were packed over the weekend, wait until this Thursday when the fans of various teams hit the scene to root for the Tigers, the Spartans and every other Mascot under the sun. As a performer with my own Mascot, I totally understand. But, as a Harvard grad, much of March Madness escapes me. It’s not like the Crimson will hoist the trophy any time soon. But at least we’re in the tournament this year. You’ve got to be in it to win it, right?
 
harvard
 
It’s amazing how many articles are written about March Madness and how to pick your bracket. There’s The Sweet Science of March Madness. Or 10 Teams to Kill Your Bracket. Or March Madness Bracket 2013. More ink and brain power are spent on the NCAA basketball tournament than on world problems. Analysts break down which No. 12 seed is going to upset a No. 5 seed this year, what players are hot right now and how you can win your pool. Seriously, if we put our minds and money together — like we do for March Madness — we could solve world hunger and many other ills.
 
But, until we do that, I’m rooting for The Crimson. At least until they bust out in the first round. Or the second.
 
Who are you rooting for?



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Time to Get Cross

Categories: Comedians,Latest News
Posted: March 14, 2013
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I’ve written about my friend David Yazbek and his monthly gig at the downtown 92Y. Now it’s time to write about a show at the uptown version. Comedian/Actor/Writer David Cross will be in conversation with his Arrested Development co-star Michael Cera on Wednesday, March 20th.
 
David Cross
 
Cross (above) got his start as a writer on the quickly defunct, but beloved The Ben Stiller Show that won an Emmy after it was canceled. He is probably best known as Portia de Rossi’s bumbling husband Tobias on the groundbreaking comedy Arrested Development, which has a second life. New episodes of the series are set for Netflix this summer in advance of a movie. The wild, woolly show, though low-rated in its original run, was a hit with critics and had a certain devoted audience. Rightly so. The show was outrageous and brilliant. And I cannot wait to see it back. On whatever platform it airs.
 
Cross also appeared in some of the best movies of the past 15 years: Ghost World (with a now barely recognizable Scarlett Johansson), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and comedy classic Waiting for Guffman. Since Cera is moderating the affair, I expect Arrested Development to be a hot topic, and who doesn’t want to learn more about what’s going to happen to Tobias and the Bluth clan?
 
Just another reason to love the Big Apple, and the creativity the city champions.



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Wilde About Magic

Categories: Latest News
Posted: March 11, 2013
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The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, a comedy starring Steve Carrell, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey, pits an aging magician duo versus a rising, hip street magician. The film is scheduled for release later this week in movie theaters across the country. I imagine it has broad, grotesque humor throughout. Just given the star names populating the field.
 
As anyone who has visited my weekly late night comedy show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, magic plays a small role. Not magic for magic’s sake. More magic for comedy’s sake. So, I’m intrigued to see this new release. And, after reading this New York Daily News article, I’m even more inclined to fork over $13.50 for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
 
Olivia Wilde
 
As enticing as Carrell, Buscemi and Carrey may be, finding out the gorgeous and talented Olivia Wilde is in the film is icing on the cake. And, she has been enamored of magic her whole life? Can this get any better? Oh, yes. She asserts she could pick your pocket on the F train. Did you hear this Apollo Robbins? This news is so exciting I expect there to be long lines to get on the F train. I think most of us guys and many women wouldn’t mind Ms. Wilde pilfering our wallets or cell phones. In fact, we would encourage it.
 
So thank you Olivia for making magic exciting again. See you in the movie theater and on the F train.



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Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind

Categories: Latest News
Posted: March 7, 2013
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Baby Wants Candy is not the only Chicago late night comedy import. Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, the weekly 10 pm show (Fridays and Saturdays) in the East Village, is another that rules the stage. TMLMTBGB — yes that is a handful — offers 30 short plays in 60 minutes. You read that right. While Baby Wants Candy give you a new musical in an hour, you get nearly three dozen news plays by TMLMTBGB. And, the audience gets to choose what order they are in! Can you imagine performing that? What a challenge.
 

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And at the end of the show, dice are rolled to determine how many new plays must be written for the next week’s show. If the number is six, next week’s audience will see 24 of the short plays you did and six new ones. It’s a wild, raucous concept. And, it’s easy to understand why the show has been going strong for years at the Kraine Theater.
 
If you need more convincing to check the show out, here’s a video showcasing some of their work.
 



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‘Baby Wants Candy’ Rocks SoHo Playhouse Again

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News,Off-Broadway Shows
Posted: March 4, 2013
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Late night shows that tickle the funny bone are a great reason to live in New York City or plan a visit. There’s nothing like being charmed or captivated by a unique, downtown experience. Something not quite like another. And, I’m happy that Baby Wants Candy, that juggernaut musical improv show, has returned to Soho Playhouse through the end of April. Get your tickets now before the show sells out its Friday night at 10:00 pm run.
 
Baby Wants Candy
 
It’s widely accepted in the industry that developing a musical takes, on average, eight years. That’s right. 70,158 hours to bring a musical to life. At Baby Wants Candy, all it takes is ONE HOUR for the zany cast to come up with a musical you will never, ever forget. A Chicago import, Baby Wants Candy, according to its website, has featured performers Stephnie Weir and Nicole Parker (MadTV), Rachel Dratch and Seth Meyers (SNL), Jack McBrayer (30 Rock), Garry Tallent (Bruce Springsteen and the E St Band), Mark Pender (Max Weinberg 7) to name a few.
 
Don’t just take my word for it. The New York Times has made the show a “Critic’s Pick”. And Buzzfocus.com raves, “This gathering of comedic geniuses is the one show you want to see before you die.” All I can say is welcome back to New York and Soho Playhouse, Baby Wants Candy. You’re sure to heat up the rest of winter.



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