SHOW: A Spirit On Parole
GROUP: Bruce Productions
ATTENDED: Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.
CLOSES: Sept. 13
BRIEF SELF-DESCRIPTION: The late Lenny Bruce is permitted to return in spirit to the stage one last time on a “sweet little deal he pickle-slipped to the higher ups.” The audience is treated to a hilarious ringside view of the late comic’s battles with drug addiction, his promiscuous wife, and the courts’ relentless attempts to imprison him.
WE THINK: A controversial stand-up comedian, social critic, pioneer of free speech, junkie and celebrated member of the Beat Generation, the life of Lenny Bruce offers much fodder for an entertaining performance. This isn’t one of them. It’s a one-man stage reading of a rambling script that lasts more than 2 hours.
Lance Freeman plays Bruce as a spirit come back to earth to share the story of his life. Freeman does little to embody Bruce’s personality but for a strained New York accent and bits of Beat slang. The recounting of Bruce’s story plods along, with little insight into the how or why of it.
Beyond being much in need of editing, the show is rarely funny or profane, which really misses the point when your subject is Lenny Bruce.