Just before last weekend’s 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind, comedian Brian Regan posted a video to social media. Looking directly into the camera, he said ‘It’s July 20. National Moon Day … I think I have a joke where I refer to the moon …”
And then he played this clip:
And if you can watch that and not laugh, or not think of that smug face the next time y hear the words “Lunar Rover,” you’re a stronger person than I
Regan, who’s onstage at the Mahaffey Theater Saturday, is Florida born and bred; he’s also one of the most successful standup comics of the past decade (move over, Jim Gaffigan), with four full-show DVDs (including one titled I Walked on the Moon) and nearly as many standup specials on Comedy Central and Netflix. His Live From Radio City Music Hall (2015) was the first special broadcast live on Comedy Central.
Between 1995 and 2015, he logged 28 guest appearances on Late Night With David Letterman.
“When I’m performing live, I try my best to start moving away from anything that’s recorded,” Regan told me a couple of years ago. “It’s probably the opposite of what a band wants to do. Because in comedy, if they know the bits, it’s not quite as entertaining. People don’t mind hearing some stuff that they’ve heard before, but I think they want to hear new stuff. So I try to provide that for them.
“I was doing a show recently, and I was feeling pretty good ‘cause I had done about a half an hour of stuff that I knew wasn’t ‘on’ anything. But every once in a while, you’ve got to pull an old bit out as a transition into something else that’s new. A half hour of stuff I knew was virgin snow – and then I do this one bit that was on one of my DVDs, and some guy yelled out the punchline, real sarcastically. And I was like ‘What are ya, kidding me?’”
OK, one more:
Tickets and info here.
Starry, starry night
Screening tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg: Loving Vincent, the groundbreaking 2007 feature film about the last days of Vincent Van Gogh. More than 100 artists toiled to hand-paint every one of the 65,000 frames in the film. So it’s an animated feature, yes, but it walks and talks like a moving Van Gogh painting. It was done through rotoscoping, which means the storyline was acted out and filmed by real people; the animators then painted over the filmed images using van Gogh style and techniques. ‘The viewer also becomes accustomed to the images, and astonishment at the film’s innovative, painstaking technique begins to fade,” wrote the New York Times critic A.O. Scott. “But its charm never quite wears off, for reasons summed up in the title.”
Amission to the screening is $20, which also covers your museum admission. More here.
One of St. Petersburg’s pre-eminent rock/pop/R&B bands, Ella Jet & Future Soul, is onstage tonight (Thursday, July 25) at the Palladium Theater Side Door Cafe. Tickets here.
One of St. Petersburg’s pre-eminent blues outfits, the rocking Betty Fox Band, has a gig Friday at 8 at the Catherine Hickman Theatre in Gulfport. For this show only, the band will be augmented by a big, beefy horn section. Tickets here.
One of St. Petersburg’s pre-eminent swing jazz groups, the always exciting Gloria West & the Gents, will be boppin at the Palladium’s Side Door Friday. Tickets here.
Direct from Savannah, Georgia, the high-energy Big Band known as the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra has a Saturday date at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. Fronted by saxophonist Jeremy Davis and crooner Clay Johnson, the group swings between New Orleans jazz, Dixieland, ’40s-era dance tunes and rhythm ‘n’ blues. I lived in Savannah for six years and saw them often. Tickets here.
The plays, the things
It’s another great theater weekend – our Equity (professional) houses are going at full throttle, with shows that are getting great review sand doing terrific business (i.e. a lot of sold-our performances).
We’ll have a Fun Home closeup story in Friday’s Catalyst.
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