You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.

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

  • Beetlejuice review

    Broadway Review: 'Beetlejuice'

    “Such a bold departure from the original source material!” wisecracks the odd-looking fellow sitting on a coffin at the start of the Broadway musical “Beetlejuice.” The weird, nasty and outrageous title character is talking about a short lament just sung by a sad teen at her mother’s gravesite, as he breaks the fourth wall (“Holy [...]

  • Playwright Mark Medoff author of "Children

    Mark Medoff, 'Children of a Lesser God' Playwright, Dies at 79

    Mark Medoff, the playwright who wrote Tony Award-winning play “Children of a Lesser God,” died Tuesday in Las Cruces, N.M. He was 79. His daughter Jessica Medoff Bunchman posted news of his death on Facebook, and the Las Cruces Sun-News attributed the cause to cancer. “Children of a Lesser God” starred John Rubinstein and Phyllis Frelich [...]

  • Ink review

    Broadway Review: 'Ink' With Jonny Lee Miller

    Garish, lurid and brash, “Ink,” the British import now on Broadway in a Manhattan Theatre Club production, is the theatrical equivalent of its subject, the UK’s Daily Sun — the newspaper that reshaped British journalism and propelled Rupert Murdoch’s ascent to media mogul. Like the tabloid, it feels unsubstantial, rushed and icky. You can’t say [...]

  • All My Sons review

    London Theater Review: 'All My Sons' With Sally Field, Bill Pullman

    If “All My Sons” is showing its age, it sure shows no signs of abating. Just days after a major revival opened on Broadway, moving Annette Bening and Tracy Letts into the Tony zone, up the play pops in London. The Old Vic has arguably secured the starrier cast, too: Bill Pullman and Sally Field [...]

  • Tootsie review

    Broadway Review: 'Tootsie'

    The new Broadway adaptation of “Tootsie” is old-fashioned and proud of it — and it’s a surefire crowd-pleaser, in this musical spin on the 1982 film comedy with Santino Fontana in the Dustin Hoffman role. Robert Horn (book) and Tony-winner David Yazbek (score) have a high old time poking fun at theatrical rituals — the [...]

  • Kelli O'Hara

    Listen: How Kelli O'Hara Brings #MeToo to 'Kiss Me, Kate'

    “Kiss Me, Kate” is one of the best-known titles in musical theater. But in this day and age, the “Taming of the Shrew”-inspired comedy’s depiction of the gender dynamic seems downright, well, problematic. Listen to this week’s podcast below: Kelli O’Hara is well aware of that, and so were her collaborators on the Roundabout Theatre [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content