Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.

Son of a Stand Up Comedian

Also see Susan's reviews of Triumph of Love, The Liar and Sophisticated Ladies

Paul Scott Goodman
Audiences at MetroStage in Alexandria, Virginia, first became acquainted with the work of composer-lyricist Paul Scott Goodman through his charming two-character musical Rooms: A Rock Romance, which earned Natascia Diaz a Helen Hayes Award and moved to Off-Broadway. Now Goodman speaks and sings for himself in Son of a Stand Up Comedian, a winning autobiographical one-man show he created with the help of his wife and artistic collaborator, Miriam Gordon, and director Michael Baron.

The 70-minute performance, part rock concert and part musical, takes Goodman back to 1980s New York City when he was an aspiring rocker, a Scottish Jew with dreams of succeeding in musical theater. (A running joke refers to his planned rock musical adaptation of Death of a Salesman, to be titled—as he says—Willy, exclamation mark.) The show is roughly chronological, but also rather shapeless at times.

Gordon recounts how, during the broiling hot New York summer of 1988, he met his future wife when they worked together in a restaurant. He touches on his difficult and brief earlier marriage, the growth of his relationship with Gordon, the influences of their respective parents—his father a clothing salesman who loved amateur theater, her mother a Holocaust survivor—and, ultimately, working things out around the time their first child was born (she's 21 now).

Goodman, who looks a bit like actor Geoffrey Rush, brandishes his Scottish accent as he describes his eclectic musical influences (on one hand, Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George; on the other, the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols) and his lifelong interest in performing. He's an entertaining storyteller and a fine rock guitarist and singer, with strong support from Greg Holloway on percussion.  

Son of a Stand Up Comedian
April 15th —May 9th
Music and lyrics by Paul Scott Goodman
Book by Paul Scott Goodman and Miriam Gordon
Starring Paul Scott Goodman
With Greg Holloway on percussion
Directed by Michael Baron
1201 N. Royal St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Ticket Information: 703-548-9044 or

Photo: Chris Mueller

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