Helen Hayes Theatre, (3/23/2005 - 9/04/2005)

First Preview: Mar 08, 2005
Opening Date: Mar 23, 2005
Closing Date: Sep 04, 2005
Total Previews: 14
Total Performances: 172

Category: Special, Solo, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Donald Tick and Martin Markinson

Produced by Jyll Rosenfeld, Jon Stoll and James Scibelli

Written by Jackie Mason

Directed by Jackie Mason

Lighting Design by Paul Miller; Sound Design by Peter Hylenski

General Manager: Theatre Production Group; Company Manager: G. Eric Muratalla

Production Stage Manager: Don Myers

General Press Representative: Larry Weinberg; Marketing: Keith Hurd; Advertising: Echo Advertising

Opening Night Cast

Jackie Mason

Awards and Nominations

Drama Desk Award

 2005 Outstanding Solo Performance [nominee] 

Jackie Mason

Reviews


AP: "Mason Delights in Broadway Return"

Jackie Mason is back doing what he does best: ribald, feisty standup comedy, laced with more than a few choice curse words. More than a year after critics panned his last Broadway show, which featured his classic bits interspersed with ill-advised musical numbers, Mason sticks to his usual schtick in his latest outing, "Freshly Squeezed," at the Helen Hayes Theatre.

In his seventh one-man show on Broadway, Mason delights his fans with the kind of piercing social commentary for which he's famous, as well as the usual bits about rich Jewish women and the differences between Jews and Gentiles.

If much of the material seems as though it's been recycled, that's because it just about has. The jokes may change with each show, but the subjects of Mason's ridicule and wrath remain largely the same -the glut of cell phones in the world, the differences between men and women, hard-to-understand foreigners, politicians.

Mason even pokes fun at himself at the beginning of the show, telling his audience not to say anything if they think they've heard a certain joke before. He swears, the material is all new. Inevitably, one heckler speaks up, but Mason seems to expect it, and gets a big laugh by putting her in her place.

Despite its flaws, Mason's brand of comedy will always be part of his charm, which explains why he is still such a top draw at age 74. He's still among the best at delivering a one-liner, and his commentary on society remains sharp and hilarious.

Consider his slam on "The Gates," Christo and Jeanne-Claude's public design project in Central Park earlier this year: "Did you think the thing missing in Central Park was orange curtains (kyeer-tuhns)? ...if you had those orange curtains in your house, you'd throw them away."

Mason also gently chides gay culture while excoriating politicians who oppose same-sex marriage. In a funny bit, he acknowledges that gays have overcome a lot in recent years and found immense pride in being gay. He notes that gays have become so proud, in fact, anytime two of them get together, a parade starts.

Mason saves his greatest faux-vitriol for feminism, though. He remarks how far women have come in the professional world, yet jokes that women still find a way to avoid paying the bill at the end of the night. He also wisecracks that women always manage to get half their spouse's assets in a divorce, even if all they did during the marriage was "sit in the house."

As always, Mason touches on politics, giving equal time to poking fun at President Bush and his former Democratic rival, Sen. John Kerry. Mason lets Bush have it for skimping on the details during the presidential election, while he lambasts Kerry for being wishy-washy. Even though the election is now several months removed, the jokes still retain their zing.

Mason is perhaps his best when he laughs at himself, ending the show with a message to those in the audience who didn't enjoy his act: "if this is the best you can afford, that's your problem."

If laughing this hard is a problem, Jackie, we're all in trouble.


AP
03/23/2005

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