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Am I Wrong? An evening with the delightful Joan Rivers

October 25, 2010

A moment with Joan Rivers

About 1,200 people had the good fortune of attending the Joan Rivers comedy show on Saturday night at the Overture Center for the Arts. Rivers was extremely energetic for a 77-year-old woman. She marched up and down the stage wearing high heels and a long flowing gold lame jacket, waving her arms as she shared her views on aging, children, gays, people with chronic illness and a myriad of other topics.

She started the 90-minute show by telling the audience that she had to pay for the 12-piece combo behind her. But, she pointed out “Count them with me Madison, Wisconsin! One, two, three, four, five, six! Six f*** ing musicians and six mirrors!” She continued the show by telling the audience that she is very particular about who she performs for. She began asking for the gays to sit up front. “Gays up front, lesbians in back” she said. “Do you know why I like gays? They laugh at EVERYTHING! ‘Oh Miss Rivers you’re so funny!’” she said in a high voice. Rivers then proceeded to mention the other groups of people she won’t perform for: old people, Chinese women, blind people. The list went on and on as she gave hilarious explanations why she didn’t like them. She kept telling the audience that as soon as all the undesirables left, she would begin the show.

Of course, the show by that time was well underway.

Nothing was sacred to the comedienne. Not even the comedienne herself. She engagingly laughed about getting older and told of trying to get a job selling Depends. “I went into the audition and urinated on the floor. I told the producer ‘the urine says it all.’”

She made jokes about Chastity Bono who asked her mother, the infamous Cher, for $25,000 for a sex-change operation—she needed the money for the male part. “She’s ugly as a woman, she’ll be ugly as a man, she’d be ugly as a farm animal!” Rivers chortled in her loud, ranting style. “Am I wrong?” she questioned. The audience answered with roaring laughter.

She then told of how she decided to have a Christmas tree, despite the fact that she is Jewish. “I did the whole thing—great big tree with decorations and even the stable with the three wise men, Mary and the baby Jesus. Mary was dressed in this veil thing. If I had dressed her I would have put her in a Chanel suit and Jimmy Choo shoes. ‘You’re the Mother of God—dress like it!’ She would have gotten into that inn and all of history would have been changed.”

The 90 minutes passed by all too quickly, ending with Rivers thanking all for coming to the show. She left the stage, then quickly returned—in a new flowing blue jacket with pink lining and faux fur (or maybe real) trim.” I usually don’t do encores,” she said, “but you’ve been such a nice audience.” She proceeded to hand out the plants that were decorating the stage to the people in the front rows. At first she handed the smaller brightly colored mums to open arms, but soon she was taking the larger, tree-like plants and rolling them across the stage into the arms of the audience. I looked over at my husband who was laughing so hard tears were forming in the corners of his eyes. My sides ached with laughter and we had to agree her performance had been exquisite. Am I wrong?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2010 5:28 pm

    Wow! This IS a glowing review. I’m sorry I missed this, having opted for a complete refund when Liza was canceled. Joan Rivers often is just a tiny bit off-color for me. A little coarse? I can take a little, but then it wears on me. However, having said that, I have also laughed a lot at her comedy. She is hilarious and excellent in her presentation. Did you see the movie about her? It explains a lot of that manicness and I’m not sure I’m better for knowing it all. So glad you enjoyed the show! Sounds like a good time was had by all and I’m happy for Joan too. She tries hard to please and deserves affirmation for that.

    • Mike and Jean permalink*
      October 26, 2010 12:17 pm

      Hi Judy:

      Joan was more than a little coarse, and wildly politically incorrect. You may not have liked it. But I never have laughed this hard before, and I never would have thought I would have enjoyed her show this much. No one walked out and she got a standing ovation, which is common in Madison, but not usually with the speed and spontaneity of this one.


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