Saturday, June 24, 2006
Bill Maher (The SOB Review) - Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
** (out of ****)
Friday nights have become a television ritual for me as I enthusiastically tune into HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" each week. Even when I don't agree with him, I find myself laughing or at least amused by what he's had to say.
So going into last Friday night with a live opportunity to see him on stage -- as part of his current national tour -- I perhaps went in with some unrealistic expectations. I'm not sure whether it was the recycled material from his television show, the hecklers, the audience members who seemed to forget that they weren't in their own living rooms, or that Maher continually referenced where he was in his act vis-à-vis a metal lecturn that disappointed me most. Sure he was funny some of the time, but I laugh much more consistently during his one hour TV program than I did during this 95 minute live performance. And surprisingly, most of the truly funny bits had nothing to do with politics at all.
Coming out onto the stage, he began with a slip of the tongue, "It's great to be black, er back, in a blue state." He never seemed to really recover. Yes, he hit all the regular targets that you'd expect: George W. Bush, Haliburton, pharmaceutical companies, big business, George W. Bush, the Christian right, Katrina, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, America's puritanical streak, drug use, Patrick Kennedy, George W. Buch, violence, viagra, blogs, George W. Bush... well, you get the picture. Rather than a linear performance, it was literally loopy, if not a bit sloppy and stale.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
Click here for tickets.