Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

Don't take me camping, posted September 2, 2006 at 03:17 PM

As a rule, I hate live comedy. As another rule, I hate drag acts. So this week I went to see a comedic drag act--Kiki and Herb: Alive on Broadway.

I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would, but that's not saying much. I saw Kiki and Herb many many moons ago when Justin Bond and Kenny Mellman were originally developing these characters. They were regular (if that's the word) entertainers at Marion's back in my and Paula's halcyon days of teaching ourselves to drink everyone else under the table. Sometimes they'd appear out of character just as themselves. Their act--the old lounge singer schtick, the fake drunkenness (whether it was really fake or not I don't know but it seemed to be meant in that ironic way), the bizarro choices of songs to cover--always drove me nuts.

Anyway, as the years passed Kiki and Herb, and David and Paula, all moved on from Marion's and I haven't seen them since--though they have become wildly successful on the downtown circuit. Enough so, in fact, to have moved to the uptown circuit--Carnegie Hall and their own Broadway show ain't too shabby.

The characters are much more polished and developed now, and the performers, having themselves now reached a more mature age (I think they're both somewhere around 40), seem more at home and more believable in their schtick. And the wildly wide range of song choices is still with them--they actually sang a Mark Eitzel song in this show (Patriot's Heart, from American Music Club's last album). They encored with one of their signatures: Total Eclipse of the Heart.

The NY Times gave them an absolute rave, and I have trusted friends who love love love them, but even a well-written Eitzel ditty in the second act couldn't keep me interested in this show for its 2+ hour duration.

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