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Josh and Danny Bacher Get and "A" in their History of Comedy
The Funniest Show in the World About the History of Comedy Performed by Two Brothers In Less Than Two Hours For Under Twenty Bucks
"The Funniest Show in the World
About the History of Comedy
Performed by Two Brothers
In Less Than Two Hours
For Under Twenty Bucks"
Directed by Josh and Danny Bacher
Theater for the New City
155 First Ave., between 9th and 10th streets
Opened Jan. 12, 2006
Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m.
$15, theatermania.com or theaterforthenewcity.net
Closes Feb. 4, 2005
Reviewed by Paulanne Simmons Jan. 13, 2006
In the spirit of Lewis and Martin, Abbot and Costello and especially The Smothers Brothers, Josh and Danny Bacher have arrived at Theater for the New City with "The Funniest Show in the World About the History of Comedy Performed by Two Brothers in Less Than Two Hours for Under Twenty Dollars."
The history begins when Danny (the enfant comedy), clad in a loincloth/diaper, emerges from a cardboard vagina and proceeds to execute a dance with a choreographic style (Dionysios Mitsios and Rania Charalambidou get the credit here) that ranges from pseudo-ballet to ersatz primitive. Josh arrives as a late theatergoer and makes a great fuss finding his seat, talking on his cell phone and commenting unfavorably on Danny's introductory words. Finally, Danny calls Josh onstage to help with the show.
Josh and Danny's history of comedy includes its early days in Greece (which somehow metamorphoses into "Grease"), the age of Shakespeare (with Danny's help, Josh becomes, most hilariously, the hunchbacked, crippled, drooling Richard III) and America's very own burlesque ("vaudeville's naughty cousin" exemplified by Danny's head and arms emerging in a seductive dance from behind a screen on which the silhouette of a stripping woman is projected).
The history concludes with a wonderful send-up of silent films, featuring Danny and Josh running away from the police, an enraged gorilla and a lovely maiden; and the dynamic duo's original version of Gilbert and Sullivan's "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General," in which they enumerate in rhyme the major figures of 20th century comedy.
This rollicking journey, accomplished with the help of a rack of costumes, a piano and pre-taped video, is indeed breathtaking. But Danny and Josh never lose their cool. Their energy and synergy remind one of the great comic teams
Danny and Josh do not yet have the polish of Vegas or even the Borscht Belt. A good deal of their jokes fall wide of their mark. But unlike so many who pass for comedians these days, The Bacher Brothers have a real sense of humor – outrageous, naughty, ironic, sometimes a bit derivative, but always with a quality that makes their material uniquely their own.
This reviewer can't wait to see what they come up with next.
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