Saturday, March 26, 2011

Brea Improv Provides Laughs and Points to Ponder

What constitutes entertainment? It’s kinda like going to Vegas: you invest some money hoping to get a big return. Brea Improv will give good odds for a winning night out on the town.

If you haven’t been to Downtown Brea, you should check it out. It’s got that quaint/urban feel to it with apartment lofts nestled over boutique stores, restaurants, theaters, and The Improv, which hosts headliners who’ve been on all the late night talk shows. You don’t have to drive all the way up to Los Angeles to see comedic talent. We’ve got it right in our own OC and it’s a fun night.

Friday night’s warm up act, Jason Jones, had the perfect mixture of naughty and nice. His boy-next-door face and impish smile let him get away with tequila laced zingers that had the house in stitches, even if I did have to go back to my college days to relate. Loved his homeless man talking on a cell phone joke…just how hard is it to get out of these cell phone contracts?

I was looking forward to the night’s headliner, Michael McDonald, who reached fame with his tenure writing, producing and starting on Madtv as Stuart Larkin. McDonald grew up in Fullerton, attending OC Catholic schools, St. Juliana’s and Servite High School. Me being a Catholic girl attending Marywood High School in Villa Park, I felt a childhood kinship for the man I never met.

He started his set saying he was trying out new material, which frankly I feel should be saved for week night gigs. Friday and Saturday stand up should be your best set, not a dress rehearsal. That being said, McDonald tells a great story with comedic timing. He’s at his best when his physical comedy is given room to roam.

McDonald closed his set by commenting on today’s ever lowering standard of reality tv, calling it a Circus of the Horrible. I completely agree, and let me add my two cents about the recent increase in people videotaping anything to get clicks, views and instant internet infamy. Burger King bikini assaults and Teen Mom front yard fist fights leave me shell shocked and in tears for what our society now sees as instant entertainment. We have a freakishly morbid curiosity to watch train wrecks and these internet clips have become the new freak show in the Circus of the Horrible. I hope an internet renaissance is on the horizon, because I don’t think I can stomach anything lower than what our so called news stations are choosing to offer up as food for our brains and souls.

Andy Worhol said everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame. Unfortunately, this is becoming a reality and people now look for the easiest way to get noticed. How can this trend be turned around? I don’t know, but I’m open to discovering answers.

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