Jackie Hoffman, one of the city’s best comic singing actresses, creates cabaret acts that tell hilarious self-deprecating tales about the sad state of her career. It really doesn’t matter if she’s actually doing fine career-wise, she always manages to find the wickedly funny downside. The first number in her act at 54 Below – which actually opened the space two days before Patti LuPone, she hastens to point out – is punningly called “Bottom” and sarcastically celebrates climbing her way up to the basement (of Studio 54).
Jackie emphasizes observational humor here more than in previous acts, but the observations she makes are many times more twisted and cutting than in traditional standup. For example, one of the funniest recurring themes in her comedy is a strong dislike of small children, which she details here in a hilarious song about the over-diagnosis of autism.
While she clearly isn’t above making jokes at her own expense, Jackie exudes more and more confidence every time I see her. She can also be surprisingly humble and warm, and she incorporates those qualities more subtly and seamlessly here than before.
Jackie Hoffman’s cabaret shows have long been one of my very favorite things in the whole New York performance world, and this one more than lives up to that standard. Acid humor that never gets all the way to self pity, a great character actress who just gets more glamorous while never losing her razor edge – long may Jackie roar!
For tickets, click here.
For more reviews and interviews by Jonathan Warman, see his blog Drama Queen.