You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Danny Hoch: Some People

HBO gives up-and-comer Danny Hoch a shot at the wide audience he deserves with its presentation of "Some People," the intimate Obie Award-winning stage production Hoch presented Off Broadway last fall.

HBO gives up-and-comer Danny Hoch a shot at the wide audience he deserves with its presentation of “Some People,” the intimate Obie Award-winning stage production Hoch presented Off Broadway last fall.

Owing a debt to solo-ers from Lily Tomlin to John Leguizamo, the versatile Hoch proves himself a worthy successor and could easily follow their path to a film career by limning the urban types he presents here. Taped on a New York stage, “Some People” presents Hoch to good advantage in what would seem his natural habitat, without the clutter of any attempts at opening up the stage show.

The eight characters who make up this collection of Hoch’s “people” range from afast-talking Jamaican dise jockey to a Jewish mother whose liberal bent is tested by her son’s social work in the Bronx. With a gift for accents that surpasses even Anna Deavere Smith’s, Hoch bridges humor and humanity in his fine-tuned characterizations.

Typical of Hoch’s approach is his portrayal of Blanca, a young Puerto Rican woman with equal parts sweetness, sass and ignorance. While she worries about her roommate’s health — “He’s gay and he’s skinny” — she rejects her boyfriend’s suggested use of condoms. “You think I’m dirty?” she asks (in a Rosie Perez sound-alike voice).

In moments like that, Hoch isn’t shy about the mixed feelings his characters inspire. Even his most unlikable character — a bigoted New Jersey yuppie whose obnoxious worldview is a tortured amalgam of half-baked insights gleaned from the tube — has a few seconds of tenderness with a friend’s cat. His funniest character, Doris, the Jewish mother, may be the “scared, liberal, complaining reactionary” her son charges, but audiences will be hard-pressed not to feel some empathy with her.

Hoch forgoes the laughs with his most poignant character (and the high point of the hourlong show), Cesar, a middle-aged Hispanic man coping with the recent death of his young son. Here as elsewhere, Hoch transforms broken English into an eloquent expression of internal struggle and frustration.

Director John Fortenberry keeps the focus of the show squarely on the performance, with a healthy dose of unfussy medium-range and close-up shots showcasing Hoch’s attention to detail. Tech credits are of HBO’s usual polished standards.

“Some People” is being presented by HBO as part of its year-long celebration marking two decades of original comedy programming. The cabler was smart to pat its back with someone of Hoch’s promise.

Danny Hoch: Some People

HBO, Tues. Sept. 19, 9:45 p.m.

Production: Taped in New York at the Academy Theater by HBO. Executive producers, David Campbell, William McLaughlin; producer, Robert Small; director, John Fortenberry; writer, Danny Hoch; stage director, Jo Bonney.

Crew: Set designer, John Yeck; lighting, Alan Branton, 60 MIN.

More TV

  • Will and Grace

    TV Ratings: 'Will & Grace' Tops Thursday Scripted Shows

    HBO gives up-and-comer Danny Hoch a shot at the wide audience he deserves with its presentation of “Some People,” the intimate Obie Award-winning stage production Hoch presented Off Broadway last fall. Owing a debt to solo-ers from Lily Tomlin to John Leguizamo, the versatile Hoch proves himself a worthy successor and could easily follow their […]

  • Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler

    'Walking Dead' Boss Greg Nicotero Says Zombies Will Win the Rick-Negan War

    HBO gives up-and-comer Danny Hoch a shot at the wide audience he deserves with its presentation of “Some People,” the intimate Obie Award-winning stage production Hoch presented Off Broadway last fall. Owing a debt to solo-ers from Lily Tomlin to John Leguizamo, the versatile Hoch proves himself a worthy successor and could easily follow their […]

  • Red Arrow Entertainment Regroups Scandinavian Production

    Red Arrow Entertainment Regroups Scandinavian Production Into Snowman Productions Denmark

    HBO gives up-and-comer Danny Hoch a shot at the wide audience he deserves with its presentation of “Some People,” the intimate Obie Award-winning stage production Hoch presented Off Broadway last fall. Owing a debt to solo-ers from Lily Tomlin to John Leguizamo, the versatile Hoch proves himself a worthy successor and could easily follow their […]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    TV Academy Votes to Begin Disciplinary Proceedings Against Harvey Weinstein

    HBO gives up-and-comer Danny Hoch a shot at the wide audience he deserves with its presentation of “Some People,” the intimate Obie Award-winning stage production Hoch presented Off Broadway last fall. Owing a debt to solo-ers from Lily Tomlin to John Leguizamo, the versatile Hoch proves himself a worthy successor and could easily follow their […]

  • Tracy Morgan TCA

    Tracy Morgan's 'The Last O.G.' Loses Showrunner, Delayed Until 2018

    HBO gives up-and-comer Danny Hoch a shot at the wide audience he deserves with its presentation of “Some People,” the intimate Obie Award-winning stage production Hoch presented Off Broadway last fall. Owing a debt to solo-ers from Lily Tomlin to John Leguizamo, the versatile Hoch proves himself a worthy successor and could easily follow their […]

  • Roy Price's Top Amazon Lieutenants Under

    Roy Price's Top Amazon Lieutenants Under Scrutiny (EXCLUSIVE)

    HBO gives up-and-comer Danny Hoch a shot at the wide audience he deserves with its presentation of “Some People,” the intimate Obie Award-winning stage production Hoch presented Off Broadway last fall. Owing a debt to solo-ers from Lily Tomlin to John Leguizamo, the versatile Hoch proves himself a worthy successor and could easily follow their […]

  • Chelsea Handler Netflix trailer

    'Chelsea' Proves Netflix Can't Always Beat TV at Its Own Game (Opinion)

    HBO gives up-and-comer Danny Hoch a shot at the wide audience he deserves with its presentation of “Some People,” the intimate Obie Award-winning stage production Hoch presented Off Broadway last fall. Owing a debt to solo-ers from Lily Tomlin to John Leguizamo, the versatile Hoch proves himself a worthy successor and could easily follow their […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content