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Monday, February 28, 2011

Best bets in Charlotte comedy this week, Feb. 28-March 6

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 5:25 PM

As the headline suggests, here are a few of the best places to find comedy events in Charlotte — from stand-up to improv to sketch comedy and more. For a complete listing of all comedy visit www.CharlotteComedyLIVE.com.

Monday, Feb. 28

Hideaway Open Mic at 8 p.m.

Join us for stand-up open mic.  Sign-up for five minute sets at 7:35 p.m..

Hideaway Bar & Grille ~ 516 River Highway, Mooresville ~ Free

Tuesday, March 1

Gorilla Preschool Improv Comedy at 9 p.m.

Shows similar to Whose Line is it Anyway. The entire direction of the show is dictated by the audience and their suggestions, making it a funny show.

Petras Piano Bar ~ 1919 Commonwealth Ave., Charlotte ~ $5

Wednesday, March 2

Open Mic at 10 p.m.

Do you have some new material to work out? Sign up at 9:30 p.m.

Jackalope Jacks ~ 1936 E. 7th St., Charlotte ~ Free

Thursday, March 3

Charlotte House of Comedy at 9 p.m.

Brought to you by Charlotte's legendary comedian Nick Lewis.

Allure ~ 1508 S. Mint St., Charlotte ~ $10

Friday, March 4 & Saturday, March 5

Michael Mack at The Comedy Zone Fort Mill at 8 p.m. & 10:15 p.m.

Michael Mack's songs and song parodies have played on radio stations across the country including "The Bob and Tom Show" and "XM Radio". He uses music, light, impressions, and parodies to produce a show starting in fun and ending with the crowd coming out of their seats in amazement.

The Comedy Zone Fort Mill at Madison's On The Corner ~ 900 Crossroads Plaza, Fort Mill ~ $10

Saturday, March 5

Mike Epps at 8 p.m.

Mike Epps' natural comedic ability was encouraged at an early age, and he began performing standup as a teenager. He moved to Atlanta where he worked at the Comedy Act Theater, before moving to New York City to star in Def Comedy Jam in 1995.

Bojangles' Coliseum ~ 2700 East Independence Blvd., Charlotte ~ $46

Sunday, March 6

Funny First Sunday at 7 p.m.

Funny First Sunday Laughing and Jamming comedians Nick Lewis & DS Sanders.

House of Jazz ~ 8630 University Exec Park Drive, Charlotte ~ $15 at the door

To join Debbie’s mailing list (just one e-mail a week, I promise), e-mail DebbieMillwater@gmail.com with the Subject Line “Subscribe.”

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Moammar Gaddafi and Wisconsin's Scott Walker trade places

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 5:13 PM

image courtesy of Driftglass at driftglass.com
  • image courtesy of Driftglass at driftglass.com

[First, for the clueless trollers out there who never seem to get these things, this blog post is satire. Happy now?]

Rumors swirled around the world last week that Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi had been shot. Those rumors proved to be false, but we’re starting a new rumor about Col. Gaddawful here and now. After examining relevant evidence, we believe it very likely that Gaddafi left Libya just as citizen protests there began, and he has traded places with another tinhorn jackass, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. It makes sense when you think about the similarities between Walker and Gaddafi. Both are first-class liars; neither cares what the majority wants; both look weird in similar ways; are authoritarian goofballs; and are openly clueless about history.

Consider:

LYING LIKE A RUG Walker repeatedly lies through his teeth, claiming that his proposal to strip Wisconsin’s public employees of their collective bargaining rights is all about cutting the budget, and not a union-busting measure. He also claims that the union is “inflexible,” although they have agreed to his demands for pay cuts. Gaddafi has been a “liar’s liar” for decades, first claiming he would form a democratic government in Libya, then denying any knowledge of the 1988 Lockerbie terrorist airline explosion that killed 270 people; and finally, claiming that he is still in full control of his nation.

MAJORITY THIS! Gaddafi has refused to step down despite every indication that the vast majority of Libyans want him gone. Walker keeps saying the public is on his side, although national polls show that 61% of Americans support public employee union members’ bargaining rights.

WEIRD LOOKING Walker and Gaddafi both have nearly blank, vacant eyes, and serious five o’clock shadow issues. Coincidence? We doubt it!

AUTHORITARIAN JERKS Walker refuses to budge on public employee unions’ bargaining rights, and sent state troopers to Democratic legislators’ home to force them to come to the Capitol building in Madison, Wis., although there is no law against legislators skipping out on votes to avoid radical changes. Gaddafi refuses to step down, and sent armed soldiers and mercenaries to shoot protesters. OK, Gaddafi's got a leg up on Walker for cruelty, but not on the authoritarian thing.

HISTORICALLY STUPID Walker says he’s following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan, whose firing of striking air traffic controllers, says Walker, “was the first crack in the Berlin Wall.” First, Wisconsin pubic workers are not on strike and have, in fact, offered concessions that Walker refuses to consider. And, needless to say, firing air traffic controllers in the U.S. didn’t have a hell of a lot to do with the fall of communism halfway around the world. Gadaffi, for his part, claims to be the “King of Kings,” when everybody knows that was the title of a Jesus movie; plus, he says the revolt in Libya is the result of al-Qaeda giving hallucinogenics to young people, when everyone knows A. that's crazy as shit, and B. al-Qaeda condemns drug use.

So there you  have it: incontrovertible proof that we are starting a rumor that Scott Walker is actually Moammar Gaddafi. Let the fearful trembling begin ...

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Oscar wrap: Was show a major drag?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 3:35 PM

James Franco and Anne Hathaway. (All photos copyright AMPAS)
  • James Franco and Anne Hathaway. (All photos copyright AMPAS)

By Matt Brunson

Here are 10 thoughts regarding this year’s Oscar broadcast:

1) I wouldn’t say this was an awful show as much as it was a flat one, with no standout segments (good or god-awful), a slate of predictable winners, and a pair of hosts in over their heads. James Franco was for the most part terrible, and while the lively Anne Hathaway shined in comparison, she had her own share of awkward moments and rarely received help from a lackluster script.

2) The opening film-clip montage, based on Inception and featuring appearances by Alec Baldwin and Morgan Freeman, was one of the highlights of the show. It also showcased Hathaway and Franco at their best, since it required them to act rather than host.

Continue reading »

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Viral anti-Islam rant 'blames' Obama for Bush 'Muslim stamp'

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Like many people, I have relatives who forward chain e-mails. Thanks to a couple of cousins I really like but rarely see, I can keep up with a slew of cool nature videos, “you won’t believe this” photographs and goofy games, along with the occasional FoxNews-ish political rants. Yesterday I received one of the "Foxy" e-mails, which has been making the Internet rounds for some time. Trouble is, it’s completely false, and I thought you might want to know, in case you’ve either seen the message or it pops up in your in-box. The e-mail claims that “Obama has directed the US Postal Service to REMEMBER and HONOR the EID MUSLIM  holiday season with a new commemorative 44-Cent  First Class Holiday Postage Stamp.”  The message goes on, in enormous letters, to remind recipients to tell postal clerks that they don’t want "Muslim stamps," and to “pass this along to every Patriotic American you know and get the word out!   Honor the United States of America!”  Here is the supposed Obama Muslim stamp, sent with the e-mail.

zazzlestamp

The truth, ironically enough, is that not only does Obama have nothing to do with the stamp, it was George W. Bush’s administration that began issuing stamps to honor two Muslim holidays, about a month before 9/11. According to the nonpartisan factcheck.org, the stamp was reissued on Oct. 10, 2002. Factcheck.org continues:

At that time, the Bush White House posted an item promoting the special stamp, as part of an effort to reach out to the world Muslim community on Ramadan. Bush himself marked Eid al-Fitr with an address at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., Dec. 5, 2002.

Bush issued statements of personal greetings to Muslims in connection with the Eid al-Fitr holiday not only in 2002, but again in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and his final year in office, 2008. (In 2004 we couldn’t find a Bush message honoring Eid al-Fitr, but Bush did follow his usual practice of honoring Ramadan that year, even as he was campaigning for reelection.)

There’s another bit of irony here, if you want to call it that. The stamp above wasn’t issued by the USPS, but by Zazzle.com, which sells custom-made products, including postage stamps. Here is the actual EID stamp from USPS:

Eid2009

And here’s a message that today’s rabid anti-Muslim crowd may be interested in. It’s from former Pres. G.W. Bush, who when he addressed the D.C. Islamic Center, a mere 15 months after 9/11, said, “The spirit behind this holiday is a reminder that Islam brings hope and comfort to more than a billion people worldwide. Islam affirms God’s justice and insists on man’s moral responsibility. This holiday is also an occasion to remember that Islam gave birth to a rich civilization of learning that has benefited mankind.”  Just thought you'd like to know.

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Broadway and Off-Broadway, 2011

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Whether you’re interested in catching an early peep at the blockbusters headed toward the Charlotte’s PAC in future seasons, or you’re curious about the edgier fare that our smaller homegrown companies are drooling over, the places to go are Broadway and off-Broadway. That’s where the Queen City’s deciders sneak off to as they fashion their theater menus, and that’s where my wife Sue and I go at least once every season.

We went a little later this year. Not late enough to miss the ginormous snowfall that has made the Great White Way even whiter in 2010-11, and not late enough to catch the official press opening of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which has slung an unprecedented web of postponements. On the other hand, we caught The Addams Family and Love, Loss, and What I Wore during our 15-day invasion, two properties that I knew were in the PAC’s crosshairs as we hit the road. Since our return, news has leaked that Colin Quinn: Long Story Short has a Charlotte rendezvous in its future after it closes in New York.

Intrepid surfers can also check out CL’s past reviews of In the Heights, Next to Normal, Million Dollar Quartet, and Memphis for additional assessments of present and future touring fare.

Broadway

Colin Quinn: Long Story Short (***3/4 out of 4) – On the night we saw Quinn’s one-man show, the Saturday Night Live alum seemed surprisingly nervous at the outset. You can take my word for it, or judge for yourself: five cameras captured that evening’s performance for an HBO Special that airs on April 9. Directed by TV and stand-up legend Jerry Seinfeld, Long Story Short gives its writer-performer plenty of reason for anxiety.

That’s because, over the next 82 minutes, Quinn offers us nothing less than his own skewered history of the world – and we must jump quickly aboard to keep up. Quinn’s unifying thesis is that humanity has not evolved over the course of history, and Exhibit A behind that indictment is this morning’s newspaper. Many more choice observations crop up along the way, as we travel where few, if any, stand-ups have voyaged before: the Greek amphitheaters where drama was born, the Roman and Holy Roman Empires, and most surprising of all, the Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland.

As he hopscotches the world and exposes the foibles of the British, the French, the Chinese, the Peruvians, the Africans, the Israelis, and India, Quinn occasionally yields to temptation and scoops up the easy stand-up laugh. Mostly, Quinn scorns the low-hanging fruit and challenges us with the most satisfying one-man show to hit Broadway since Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays in 2004. (Through March 5)

Lombardi (***1/2) – The NFL commissioned this script, based on When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi by David Maraniss, and they surely knew they had a winner when Dan Lauria was cast in the title role. Best remembered as the dad on ABC’s The Wonder Years, Lauria is also a former Marine and high school football coach. When he dons a replica of the legend’s eyeglasses and smiles, Lauria’s resemblance to Lombardi is uncanny, and when he roars, the visceral effect is like getting a Bart Starr handoff in the gut.

Photo credit: Joan Marcus
  • Photo credit: Joan Marcus

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Today's Top 5: Monday

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Feb. 28, 2011 — as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Cult Movie Monday: Film screening of Shaft at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte

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Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons at Belk Theater

Culturalism: An Arts & Music Gathering at Amos' Southend

For-Adults-Only Monday Movies: Film screening of Jaff at Gaston County Public Library

Chubby's Karaoke at Dixie Tavern

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Hall Pass: Making the grade

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Hall Pass

By Matt Brunson

HALL PASS

**1/2

DIRECTED BY Bobby & Peter Farrelly

STARS Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis

It's hard to wax philosophic about a film in which a portly guy stoned out of his gourd elects to use a golf course sand trap like so much kitty litter, so let's just state that Hall Pass, the latest yarn from those wacky Farrelly Brothers, doesn't merely alternate between scenes that are dumb and dumber. It's actually a smart picture at times, both in its dissection of marital matters and in its ability to extract solid laughs from dubious situations.

Continue reading »

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Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, like hell

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 1:57 PM

BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

By Matt Brunson

BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

*1/2

DIRECTED BY John Whitesell

STARS Martin Lawrence, Brandon T. Jackson

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son isn't like Some Like It Hot; instead, it's like every other witless sequel meant to prolong the life cycle of a flailing franchise. Like it or not, the fact remains that there's not much to like here, and it only escapes a bomb rating because it's more irritating than offensive — like an ant crawling across a countertop rather than a roach roosting in the cereal box.

Continue reading »

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Congressman Paul Broun goes casual when asked: 'Who is going to shoot Obama?'

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 1:49 PM

At a town hall hosted Tuesday by Rep. Paul Broun, (R-GA), an audience member asked the congressman, ”Who is going to shoot Obama?” The question got a big laugh from the rest of the Oglethorpe County, Georgia audience, according to Blake Aued of the Athens Banner-Herald. The congressman did not repudiate the question, didn’t even say something like, “That kind of talk doesn’t belong in my idea of America.” Heck, he didn’t even flinch. Instead, the elected representative merely said, “I know there's a lot of frustration with this president. We're going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we'll elect somebody that's going to be a conservative, limited-government president.” Broun then, Aued wrote, “segued into Republicans’ budget proposal.” And that was it.

Broun is a member of the Tea Party Caucus, and is considered one of the most far-right members of Congress, which, in the current House, is saying something. He’s the guy, you may remember, who skipped the State of the Union Address and, instead, tweeted from his office about how Obama is a “socialist.”

After the town hall, Aued, the reporter, asked Jessica Morris, Broun’s press secretary, about the congressman’s non-reaction to the question. Morris replied, "Obviously, the question was inappropriate, so Congressman Broun moved on."

”Inappropriate”? More like, “begging for a visit from the Secret Service.” For Broun to casually slough off a constituent’s statement that he supports shooting the president is simply, and utterly, outrageous — and something for which the GOP House leadership needs to at least call Broun on the carpet. Hell, even Sen. McCain, in the heat of a presidential race, had the poise and guts to tell a woman who claimed “Obama is an Arab” that her remarks were out of line.

The town hall took place Tuesday, but it wasn't until today, Friday — after Broun's non-response triggered a viral Internet firestorm — that the congressman finally released a statement calling the constituent's question "abhorrent," noting that his office had notified the Secret Service, and declaring that "Such rhetoric cannot and will not be tolerated.” Except, apparently, when it's at one of your own town hall meetings and you're not aware that the press is paying attention.

As one, anonymous master of sarcasm put it in a comment on the TalkingPointsMemo site, “If only a Congressperson had been shot recently to teach us the danger of violent rhetoric, maybe we'd learn something.”

Rep. Paul Broun and his trusty retriever get ready for the hunt
  • Rep. Paul Broun and his trusty retriever get ready for the hunt

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New exhibit at Jerald Melberg Gallery

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 9:00 AM

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This Saturday (Feb.26), a new exhibit opens at Jerald Melberg Gallery. Titled Flora Dreams: Paintings and Works on Paper, the showcase features art by Robert Kushner, known for his paintings (see his pictured work, “Pink Lilac”) of flowers and plant forms that are richly adorned with shapes and texture. Visit early for Coffee & Conversation with the Artist, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Exhibit continues through April 9. Jerald Melberg Gallery, 625 S. Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte. 704-365-3000. www.jeraldmelberg.com.

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