Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words - March 23, 2009

A note in the Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words program states:
And audiences members please remember, We're not trying to be mean...they wrote 'em!"
Created by Eugene Pack and Developed by Eugene Pack and Dayle Reyfel Celebrity Autobiography is one of the most fun shows around today and it's simply celebrities reading from real autobiographies of other celebrities. In other hands it might become mean-spirited, but here it never does. It feel like you're with a group of friends ragging good-naturedly on the ones who didn't show up at the party.

It goes a little like this:

Kristin Johnston beautiful long, lean blonde perfectly channeling the animus of Mr. T. ; Eugene Pack reading the voluminous (and hilarious) lists of foods Neil Sadaka eats at EVERY meal; Rachel Dratch becomes Burt Reynold's wild-eyed assistant reading in tandem with Johnston's Loni Anderson and Craig Bierko's spot on Burt.

Michael Urie delivers an utterly serious and straight faced read of the autobiography of 16-year old Destiny Hope Smiley Miley Cyrus's encounter with a tampon dispenser that will leave you gasping if you are lucky enough to see it.

Mike Birbiglia reading Kenny Loggins laundry list love letter makes you see just how different writing songs and writing prose can be.

In one of the great Hollywood triangles, Dayle Reyfel reads with perky charm from Debbie Reynolds, while Pack reads from Eddie Fisher, and the lovely Sherri Shepherd utterly becomes Liz Taylor with nothing more than a remarkable smile and glint in her eye as Scott Adsit does a wonderfully hilarious turn as Richard Burton. Just brilliant all around.

Add to this the great Alan Zweibel in an almost too funny turn on Eminem's unfortunate Grammy night "Mobey, Proof and Christina" followed by a team read of N'Sync Autobiographies as Joey.

While each and every performer did an amazing job reading the unintentionally funny words of various celebrities, much credit clearly belongs to Eugene Pack and Dayle Reyfel for scouring through hundreds of celebrity autobiographies and finding the perfect passages for the stage and even more for the difficult job of dove-tailing the "he said, she said" autobiographies together in a way that is side-splitting and seemingly effortless. But very clearly effort is made and deserves acknowledgment and a bravo. A simple premise, a simple set-up, and serious attention to the written word equal a tremendously entertaining evening of theater. The performers and selections change weekly so you might want to go several times but whether you see it once or twenty times: See it!

Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words

Monday Nights at 7:30pm
The Triad Theater
158 W. 72nd Street
(Between Amsterdam & Columbus)
Tickets here or call Or Call 212-868-4444