Matthew Lickona 8:30 a.m., Oct. 20
My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish, & I'm In Therapy at the Lyceum
"Your mother said to talk about drugs and sex."
"Sure pop, what do you want to know?
That's one of the better moments in Steve Solomon's stand-up comedy routine disguised as a visit to his therapist. While waiting for an appointment, he decides to tell his life story.
"I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure."
That's more typical: a deja-jokeline. The 90-minute evening's a cornucopia of rehashes: oldies but rarely goodies. The night I caught the show, on several occasions someone in the audience shouted the punchline in advance (often with a Regis Philbin squawk):
"You say I do, and from then on..."
"You don't have an inferiority complex..."
"You are inferior!"
His mother's Italian, which opens up an armada of stereotypes. And his father's Jewish, ditto the stereotypes - also a few clusters for people in therapy. Even assuring the audience that "I'm not making fun" doesn't exonerate the show from a near-rampant xenophobia (in which no cab driver or convenience store owner speaks English), laced with references to bodily functions (when his sister was pregnant, she pee'd a lot: watch, he'll show you...).
There are funny bits, like a story about burying un-kosher silverware. But most of the evening's content to lower the lowest common denominator.
You'll never know what Ron Tobin, the performer, thinks of the material. He gives his all in the selling. He moves like a teacher on fast forward, making eye-contact, acknowledging audience responses (even when not forthcoming). Tobin hits and runs and manages to endear himself with material that belongs in a dumpster.