** (out of ****)
It's the end of the world as we know, and Colin Quinn for one most definitely doesn't feel fine.
In fact, in this incredibly brief 75-minute so-called "history of the world," a very somber Quinn effectively uses symmetry to prove that civilization's downfall really is all Greek to him. Seriously. As if channeling philosopher George Santanaya, Quinn seeks to remind his audience that "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it."
In Colin Quinn: Long Story Short, the SNL alum offers a PowerPoint dirge on the world's greatest civilations, examining the Achilles' heels contributing to their seemingly inevitable decline. And you'll never guess which super power's turn at the downward swing it ultimately is in this cautionary comic stand.
As if the message weren't enough of a downer, Quinn does himself few favors by failing to connect with his audience. Rather than engage members directly (and the Playbill comes with a warning not to catcall), Quinn keeps his eyes focused somewhere in the middle of the theatre as if there's invisible cue cards to be found. One wonders where Jerry Seinfeld was, since it seems clear he wasn't really providing any meaningful direction.
That's not to say that there isn't smart humor, and sometimes profound at that, to be found in this extended, stand-up comedy routine. Quinn lands many decent laughs. But more often than not, Quinn is much too serious in imploring his audience to wake up with a clarion call all his own.
Long Story Short? Colin Quinn's biting comedy would be outright hilarious if it weren't so sad.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).