The Beachwood Palace Jubilee

Director M.D. Sweeney carries the lion's share of the responsibility for the evening's pedestrian nature. By permitting his performers to repeatedly throttle the audience with each one-joke scene long after the horse is in the Elmer's bottle, any honest humor that might have arisen is dead on arrival.

Director M.D. Sweeney carries the lion’s share of the responsibility for the evening’s pedestrian nature. By permitting his performers to repeatedly throttle the audience with each one-joke scene long after the horse is in the Elmer’s bottle, any honest humor that might have arisen is dead on arrival.

Affable Barry Saltzman serves as the comic master of ceremonies, easily tossing out one-liners, and singing slightly under pitch (as do all the vocalists, though at times it is intentional). Musicians Jonathan Green and Chris Malmin provide instrumental flair as they attempt to salvage the musical numbers from the singers’ approximately correct tones.

Some of the funnier acts include Michael Naughton and Matt Taylor as a pair of out-of-control basketball “dudes,” and the supremely talented Naughton portraying an actor, recently graduated from an eight-year program at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, sharing his favorite audition pieces. His melodramatics and almost gymnastic physical control make for a hilarious episode.

Another standout, Benjamin Livingston, brings down the house with his tone-poem, “Blood on the Hills,” which is little more than an ode to a dead squirrel.

Still, in each of these more successful instances, the sketch continued too long, thereby killing the humor — great shades of “Saturday Night Live’s” weaker moments. You can imagine what the unfunny scenes are like.

Popular on Variety

The Beachwood Palace Jubilee

(Acme Comedy Theatre, Hollywood; 90 seats, $ 5. 99 top)

Production: M.D. Sweeney and Barry Saltzman in association with Acme Comedy Theatre and Ademola Prods. present an evening of sketch humor in one act; director, M.D. Sweeney. Opened May 6, 1995; reviewed July 1; runs indefinitely. Running time: 75 min. #Cast: Brett Baer, Erin Ehrlich, David Finkel, Kate Flannery, Kathy Jensen, Jamie Kaler, Benjamin Livingston, Michael Naughton, Antoinette Spolar, Matt Taylor, Phil Van Tee. Imagine the announcer/guest artist format used at most comedy clubs blended with vaudeville reminiscent of "The Hollywood Palace," and you'll have a fair idea of what antics to expect at the Acme Comedy Theatre's late-night Saturday show. Though at times the performers show comic potential, these moments aren't sustained throughout the sketches. This lack of staying power, coupled with only mildly witty writing and a tired, overdone concept, seem more like a new act tryout than a solid comedy presentation. This fly-by-night lack of polish is likely exacerbated by the fact that the bill of fare changes weekly. Granted, this will keep the show fresh, but at the same time it disallows any fine-edged tuning of the acts.

More Legit

  • The Inheritance review

    'The Inheritance' Announces Broadway Cast

    After an Olivier-winning run in London, “The Inheritance” is gearing up for its Broadway debut. The two-part epic has set the cast for its transfer from the West End to the Great White Way. John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Andrew Burnap and Kyle Soller are among the cast members reprising their roles [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Announces 2020 National Tour

    ‘Hadestown’, the eight-time Tony award winning Broadway musical, is set for a national tour in 2020. The show will stop in more than 30 cities including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and more. The musical is a stage adaptation of the Greek myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and King Hades and his wife [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Listen: Why Jake Gyllenhaal Is His 'Best Self' in the Theater

    Looking for the best possible version of Jake Gyllenhaal? You’ll find it onstage, according to the actor himself. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “I am my best self when I’m working in the theater,” Gyllenhaal said on the latest episode Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast, on which he appeared with Carrie Cracknell, the director of [...]

  • Photo: Jeremy Daniel

    'The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical' Gets Broadway Run

    “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” is Broadway bound. The musical adaptation of the franchise about a teenager who discovers he’s the son of Poseidon hits the Great White Way on Sept. 20 ahead of an Oct. 16 opening night. It comes on the heels of an extensive, nationwide tour that took the show [...]

  • Tom Sturridge Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge Celebrate 'Sea Wall/A Life' With Star-Studded Opening Night

    A star-studded audience looked on as Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge returned to the stage for their double monologue performance in “Sea Wall/A Life.” Theater-goers and celebs including Anne Hathaway, Tom Hiddleston and John Mulaney gathered in Manhattan’s Hudson Theatre for opening night, celebrating a show tackling grief, birth and death through the eyes of [...]

  • Bat Out of Hell review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Bat Out of Hell'

    No one has ever accused Jim Steinman of subtlety. The composer behind Meat Loaf’s 1977 “Bat Out of Hell” (more than 43 million albums sold worldwide) and 1993’s “Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell” (five and six times platinum in the UK and US) has forever trafficked in a boldly theatrical brand of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content