Last night, a show that defied all odds closed on Broadway, or really we should pronounce it “Br’dway”, as I and others lucky enough to see this show will forever do. “Oh, Hello”, a ‘play’ that makes you laugh even if you just repeat the title like an old kvetcher and fry that last syllable, should never had gone to Br’dway, should never have been the recommended pick of the most esteemed critics, and should never have been one of the funniest things its audiences ever saw. But it was! I still don’t know how to explain this show to people who didn’t see it, because it’s impossible. So I guess it’s kind of stupid that that’s exactly what I’m going to do now. Mostly I just want to document the jokes I remember for posterity, while bidding farewell to some of the most glorious hours I’ve experienced in the theatre, and in 2016 in general. It was a bright spot on an otherwise dark and gloomy year. Or, as we say now, “brit spot”.
For a show that begins with four Jews in a room bitching, in a song called “Four Jews in a Room Bitching”, you would think I’d love “Falsettos”. But when I saw the current Broadway revival of this show, I was somehow left cold, which is pretty hard when the focus is on family dynamics and, suddenly, AIDS. I was having trouble with the choppy direction and erratic pacing throughout the show, but I believe the suddenness of the AIDS story is what fully shut down all my feelings aside from ‘disbelief’ and ‘like you’re being punked’. I’ve been told that I would have enjoyed this particular production more if I was at all familiar with it beforehand (I wasn’t), and I could see how this cast would be a treat if you were a fan of the show. But you shouldn’t need to know a piece beforehand to enjoy it. And honestly, it’s a weird show. There are moments of brilliance (possibly due to the actors involved here), but oof, it was difficult to get through. I’ve never been so impatient for a show to end. And I barely remember ¾ of what I saw.
As usual, the Golden Globes featured some great moments, some surprises, and a lot of really stupid moments. But one of the most noticeable differences this time around was how unfunny the telecast was compared to the past few years. For an awards show that usually has its live and TV audiences in stitches, the laughter was remarkably limited. Sometimes I’ll think of jokes from 2013 and 2014, when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted, and crack up uncontrollably. Like when they commented on the “Zero Dark Thirty” controversy and chose to believe Kathryn Bigelow because “when it comes to torture, I’m gonna believe the woman who was married to James Cameron.” They were amazing. But this year? I of course dole out a bit of the blame to the always-insane Hollywood Foreign Press for being equal parts bizarre and deluded, but most of the unfunny came from Jimmy Fallon, a person I used to adore and now pretty much despise. He likes to say that he prefers his comedy with rounded edges and doesn’t like to engage in politics, but that’s a rich sentiment coming from his white straight male superwealthy mouth.
I <3 Diversions
Entertainment is a ridiculously big part of my life. I grew up in movie theatres, so in my family you have to see pretty much every movie to make it in conversation. This pop culture knowledge has extended to television, music, and, for me, the theatre. To quote Abed, I like liking things, so there's that.