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Saying Goodbye to the 2013 FringeNYC

Categories: Latest News
Posted: August 29, 2013
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It’s hard to believe that th 2013 edition of the New York International Fringe Festival has come to a close. 185 shows were on display from August 9th through the 25th at downtown venues. I was able to see quite a few of the shows. And, for those of you who missed part or all of the Fringe, you’ve got another opportunity to catch a few of the offerings. That’s right. This fall Fringe Encores returns.
 
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I’m proud that two shows I profiledRubble and The Great iii Am – -are part of this year’s Fringe Encores. You’ve got a second chance to check out these incredible shows as well as a few others that will be presented through October at the Baruch Performing Arts Center and the Players Theatre.
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Here’s the press release for the series. Enjoy.
 
And, have a fabulous Labor Day weekend.



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The US Open Brings the Funny

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: August 26, 2013
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The US Open starts its 132nd edition today, but it’s not the only game in town. In fact, the year’s final Grand Slam faced some stiff competition last night with MTV’s Video Music Awards touching down at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. What I’m most struck by both fetes is the length that celebrities will go to promote their brand, their art and even their candy.
 
Last night Katy Perry flashed her pearly whites and revealed a grill. That’s right a grill. It read “Roar”–which also happens to the be name of her new single. A simple photo op turned into a marketing bananza as the song will drop very soon (though it has recently been leaked). And look at that playful pose and leopard print dress–all coordinated to send a message. Roar.
 
katy-perry-emanuel-ungaro
 
A little over a week ago, it was announced that Maria Sharapova planned to legally change her name to Maria Sugarpova, the name of her year-old candy brand. Now, it does seem weird that a gorgeous, high level athlete promotes a candy brand–even a high end one. But, changing your name to emulate your brand’s title smacks of a publicity stunt, and not a particularly good one. I love Maria– her competitive fire and toughness — but even this was too much. Hey, as a result, not only did she not change her name, but she had to pull out of the Open with a shoulder injury. That’s the true shame.
 
Now, Katy’s and Maria’s foibles got me thinking. What would I do in order to promote my weekly comedy show– Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer? A grill? A name change? Perhaps a tattoo? Then I remembered. I already have a Mascot. Do I need more than that? I don’t think so.



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Telly Plays Joe’s Pub

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows
Posted: August 22, 2013
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I’ve got a soft spot for Telly Savalas Live!, Hunter Nelson’s sly, hysterical one-person show about the late, great bald man of action and love–Telly Savalas. Tom DiMenna stars as the Greek god in a performance that is at once bizarre, wild, and laugh-out-loud funny. And, I’m not the only one who digs this show about Telly’s return from the grave. Critics have also gone wild for it (Read the reviews below). If you’re reading this and have no clue who Telly Savalas was, don’t worry. You can still enjoy the over-the-top, meta comedy show. I promise you.
 
Check out Telly Savalas Live! at Joe’s Pub, a great downtown spot that was recently renovated, on September 4th at 9:30 pm. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased here. Tell ’em Ted sent ya.
 
Tom DiMenna as Telly Savalas
 
“Tom DiMenna is hilarious and in total control of the persona… Hunter Nelson’s script is a comic masterpiece… overflowing with outrageous stories and some of the best punchlines I’ve heard.” -nytheatre.com
 
“It’s clever, it’s entertaining… in short, I can’t recommend this show highly enough.” -WeLoveCult.com
 
“A jazzy visit from a dead person.” -Michael Musto



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Hanging on the Vine

Categories: Latest News
Posted: August 19, 2013
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I admit it. I’m a Vine convert. Watching the six-second videos is perfect for anyone who is impatient or has a short attention span. That’s just about every comedian I know. Me included.
 
vine video
 
Here are some of my favorite Vine videos. The first one is magical; anyone who has seen my show knows I love a good sleight of hand.
 

 
And here’s a compilation of top five Vines by Miles Austin Geter, who makes pretty funny videos of his own.
 

 
Vine isn’t just a place to post funny and weird videos and content. It’s a way to share with the world your soul and possibly fall in love. Last week a video tracking the love story of Vine superstars Chris Lepore and Jessi Smiles was released. Love in the modern age. It’s sweet and funny.
 
Happy Viewing.



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Check out the New York International Fringe Festival

Categories: Latest News
Posted: August 15, 2013
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Over the last week, I’ve interviewed two artists who have great shows in the New York International Fringe Festival: Mike Reiss (Rubble) and Mary Dimino (BIG DUMMY me and my old man). There are 183 other shows to see in FringeNYC before it wraps up August 25th. Here are some other ones I would consider checking out.
 
Half
 
1. HALF –A whirlwind divorce comedy where two actors play six roles. I’ve heard it’s genuinely hilarious and fast paced — essentially an Olympian effort by the two outstanding performers.
 
Peter Grosz
 
2. Recipe For Success With Chef Michael Denardi — A cooking show from the wild brain of former Colbert writer Peter Grosz. Let’s just say things don’t go according to plan in the kitchen.
 
Matt Graham
 
3. The Great iii Am — Matt Graham, whom I interviewed about his previous show This Too Shall Suck, returns to FringeNYC with a show about Scrabble. Given his pedigree, there is no better person to write and perform this show.
 
Happy Fringe-ing



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BIG DUMMY Is Full of Heart | Interview with Mary Dimino

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: August 12, 2013
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Do whatever you can to see one of the final four performances of Mary’ Dimino’s solo show BIG DUMMY me and my old man at the New York International Fringe Festival. I caught the first performance and was blown away by how funny and touching the piece is. I loved it so much that I tracked Mary down to interview her for my blog.
 
Big Dummy Mary Dimino

 
TED GREENBERG: Did your dad seen Big Dummy in any version?
 
MARY DIMINO: Big Dummy is a tribute to dad. He passed on a few years back. I would like to think he is seeing it, somehow, from somewhere. He’s probably getting a kick out of it because strange things have been happening lately. For example, Dad would always pick up coins he would find on the street, and then get all excited and say, “Look, I found money.” Three days in a row, Christine (my director) and I found bright, shiny quarters on the street of the theater. On opening night, a quarter was on the stage next to my foot.
 
TG: What was your dad’s favorite joke of yours – stand-up or otherwise?
MD: My first joke ever, kinda lame, but he liked it. “I know I have a pot belly. My friend says, Mary you don’t have a pot belly. You’ve got a pot, stove, dishwasher, frigorator belly.” Yes, Big Dummy liked his jokes dumb.
 
TG: Of all your non comedy jobs, what was your favorite?
MD: Working as the office manager in a comedy school. Hmm…Maybe that’ll be the theme of my next play.
 
TG: What do you like about the theater vs. stand-up?
MD: With theater, you get to go deeper. You can take them on a journey, with an arc, with all of the ups and downs. Like life really is.
 
The four remaining performances of BIG DUMMY me and my old man are SAT 17 @ 12:45, TUE 20 @ 4:00, SAT 8/24 @ 6 and SUN 25 @ 2:00. Get your tickets at www.fringenyc.org. `.



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Interview: Mike Reiss

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: August 8, 2013
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Reiss- Simpsonized
 
The New York International Fringe Festival
starts tomorrow, August 9th. And, my friend Mike Reiss – an Emmy Award-winning writer from The Simpsons – has a show in this year’s edition. Before you check out his play Rubble, you can read my brief interview with Mike (pictured as a Simpsons character) below.
 

TED GREENBERG: What’s your favorite Jerry Lewis movie and why?
MIKE REISS: “The Family Jewels”! It’s got Jerry Lewis playing seven characters! And it’s a kids’ film with a dirty title!
 
TG: What’s your family’s favorite Simpson’s joke of yours or episode?
MR: I wrote a joke for The Simpsons Movie where, when the dome is being lowered over the city, people from a bar run into a church and people from a church run into a bar (you had to see it). Scholarly papers have been written deconstructing this one joke. Garry Trudeau told me it was the greatest three seconds in comedy history. I replied, “That’s what my wife called our honeymoon.” That’s the worst joke I ever wrote.
 
TG: What do you like most about working in the theater vs. TV/film?
MR: My favorite thing about theater is that there’s absolutely no money in it — everyone’s doing it because they love it. My least favorite thing about theater is also that there’s no money in it.
 
Now run out and see Rubble.



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A Look at Jewish Comedians

Categories: Comedians,Latest News
Posted: August 5, 2013
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Yesterday, I passed by the IFC Center, the movie theater in Greenwich Village across from the famed baseketball court on Sixth Avenue. I noticed that a documentary – When Comedy Went to School – is now playing on its screens. Curious, I looked up the documentary, which I had not heard about before.
 
When Comedy Went to School
 
The film by Mevlut Akkaya & Ron Frank opened last week, and it chronicles how the Borscht Belt, resorts located in New York’s Catskills Mountains, gave Jewish comedians the opportunity to develop their acts. Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Jackie Mason, Mort Sahl, and Jerry Stiller, among others, are profiled in the film. The comedians tell jokes and illuminate how they became household names. The film sounds like a must see for anyone into comedy and its history.
 
The New York Daily News raves, “Think you know all about comedy? This thorough, funny and thoroughly funny chronicle of the Catskills mountains resorts — that is the Borscht belt — will teach you a thing or two.”
 
When Comedy Went to School plays at least through August 6th. If you want to check it out, visit the IFC Center website.



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Eric André Comes to Town

Categories: Comedy Shows
Posted: August 1, 2013
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Last summer, I interviewed the uber-talented Eric André for my one-man comedy blog. So listen up New York City. The very funny man returns to New York this August. Catch his show, I’ve Been Doing Stand-Up Comedy for Ten Years… and I Still Fucking Suck at It, at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory. Tickets are only $5 in advance/$7 day of show. Skip seeing Pacific Rim, and you can afford to go and have a drink.
 
Eric-Andre
 
For that insanely low price, you can also see Hannibal Burress and Sam Simmons. There’s no better deal in New York right now.
 
Get your tickets before they are all gone. Visit the Knitting Factory web site.



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