- CHARITY BENEFIT
by: Sandi Durell
“I finally made it up to the basement” sings Jackie in an opening number “Bottom” written by pianist Will Van Dyke, with her own lyrics. It’s a saga of the who’s who, who frequented the old Studio 54, the drugs, the Sodom and Gomorrah of a time past. Ah, it’s never been the same but Broadway producers Vertel, Routh, Baruch and Frankel had a dream and so here it is. . . Below 54!
Does Hoffman suffer from exclusion? You betcha. Out of a list of 50 some odd of the funniest New Yorkers (per Time Out), she landed in the 33rd position. Not only that, but the club opened, to all intent and purposes, with Patti Lupone on June 5th. So what was Hoffman doing there on June 3rd? That’s what she wants to know.
She’s one funny lady with an ironic sense of humor that translated beautifully to the audience who seemed to get it all and be on her side. Keeping with that same, oh poor me theme, she proceeded to sing the songs from the Broadway shows she has been in – - “Hairspray” – well, let’s just say she had a few words – - stop, don’t know, please. Then there was “Xanadu,” hmmm, a couple of backup words, and lest we forget her latest claim to fame, “The Addams Family”- – snap, snap.
She did a reading for Woody Allen for a play but maybe she was too Jewy, shrewy, shrilly. Sour grapes? She wasn’t called to audition as Miss Hannigan for the upcoming Broadway revival of “Annie” either. No, the role went to Katie Finneran. Hoffman has a ga-shray (Yiddish term for Yell) that could raise the dead, especially poignant when she found some seaweed on a customer’s plate (it was long) saying “this looks appetizing” and proceeded to wrap it around her neck.
No one and nothing is sacred nor spared by her, as evidenced by a song called “Autism” (music,Van Dyke/lyrics, Hoffman). But she did make the cover of an AIDS magazine; did Patti Lupone?
Well, you just can’t stop the beat and you can’t stop Jackie Hoffman. So give in and see her on a Sunday – July 8, 15, 22, 29 at 9 pm at www.54Below.com 212 764-7900
Her show is co-written and directed by Michael Schiralli.