Saturday, July 12, 2008

And to Think I Missed the 'Golden Girls' Marathon...

Eddie Izzard, Seattle, Paramount Theatre Review: Grrrrrrr.

I can't remember the last time I walked out of a show, and I have never before tonight had the misfortune of needing to walk out of a show I had been excited to see, but Eddie Izzard's performance, at least of the Seattle leg, in his 'Stripped' tour, was ghastly. Izzard normally does a lot of improv over a basic plan or outline. Here, it was as though there were no bullet points, no prior planning whatsoever, so there was nothing to improv about other than lazy references to past routines. Moreover, while it was indeed Eddie Izzard on the marquee, Eddie Izzard that I came to see, it was for Eddie Izzard performing comedy that I bought the tickets.

I realize this tour has had at times a grueling schedule, and that he has been on the road a long time. That means that the 'no bullet points' thing is not true; what is true is that instead he has had the same outline for too long, and he's sick of it, and it shows. It may have all been as brilliant as his past stuff when he started doing it months ago, but it felt like since he knew the funny bits too well he didn't bother getting to that point for the audience, as though we, too, should already know by what amusingly convoluted logic he was going to take us from Noah to ducks running the world. And since we knew, he didn't have to do the routine; he could just hint at it, and we would humor him, since he is Eddie Izzard doing Eddie Izzard.

But 'Eddie Izzard' isn't the funny bit, nor are inane and exhausting digressions or incoherent murmurings or referring obliquely to previous successful humor. The funny bit is Eddie Izzard being funny, integrating that rambling and making the journey to the point more entertaining than the point itself. In the same way I would feel cheated to have seen Charlie Parker or Edith Piaf come onstage and just 'be' Charlie Parker or Edith Piaf, it felt like Izzard was attempting little beyond pointing to himself and insisting, 'What? I'm effing Eddie Izzard! That's funny! I'm funny! Therefore my just being here should be good enough for you!' He had all the mannerisms of Eddie Izzard, all the energy, and the diction was spot on; what was lacking was the show.

Whatever. We had tasty Chinese food and good company in the International District after. And until I dropped a lipstick on my beige skirt and had to change in the car, I even looked undeniably 'summery.'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know, I have to agree with you. I saw him on Fri and Sat night in Seattle and all I kept thinking was I've seen this all before.

-Noah's Ark
-Ducks can swim
-God/Jesus conversations
-Darth Vadar

Watching his other shows..Circle, Definite Article, Glorious....all the subjects above are covered one way or another (and funnier).

His encore was horrible on Sat., felt as if he didn't even care to finish the stream of thought. It was a bit better on Fri but same subject DV. Maybe he had a late night dinner reservation to go to or a hot date waiting.

I’m just a bit stunned that he doesn’t seem to make the effort to find new subjects to talk about. He's a funny talented man, why bore us with the SAME stuff!

Anyway, thanks got to vent hope we are both wrong and he does a turn around but with his rise of popularity I am starting to doubt it.