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‘My Son the Waiter’ Tea w/Brad Zimmerman

Outspoken, outlandish and all together downright hilarious.

Although Jewish comedian/actor/performer Brad Zimmerman didn’t get his career in full ignition until a bit further down the entertainment road when he was in his ’40s while working alongside the likes of late, great comedic legends George Carlin and Joan Rivers, he’s certainly doing his thing now judging by the massive success of his little/big traveling one-man play, My Son the Waiter:A Jewish Tragedy.

And lucky for everyone in and around the tri-state area, the critically acclaimed show is currently in week two of its six week run at the Penn’s Landing Playhouse right here in Philly. 

Labeled as the “story of one man’s struggle to fulfill his dream and ‘make it’ as a comedic actor in New York,” the play can be best described as one part Brad’s on-point standup comedy and the other part his well-crafted theatrical skills, which are mixed together to give all of us one hell of a fun evening of entertainment. 

But since there’s never a bad time to spill some entertainment tea, Mr. Zimmerman took a little time away from the stage to chat with Philly Mixtape where he broke mugs over his influences (or lack there of), what it was like to work with Ms. Joan and why everyone should go see this show that he himself calls “poignant” and “inspiring.”

And no, you don’t have to be Jewish to go see it. Read on to find out more and get to know the many, many talents of Mr. Brad Zimmerman below. 

For your chance to see My Son the Waiter:A Jewish Tragedy while it’s in town at the Penn’s Landing Playhouse until Nov 19th, go here now. 

First up, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with Philly Mixtape, I truly appreciate it. So…..how are you? Things are good! I just finished Chicago and I’m on the longest break that I’ve ever had (we chatted a few days before he hit Philly), which is six weeks ’cause I’ve been doing the tour for four years! So, [I’m] getting used to not performing and getting that energy, which is really good cause I needed it ’cause I did seventeen weeks in a row this year at one time–and it’s six shows a week..it’s grueling. But I’ve been using the six weeks [to work] on the sequel. I’m busting my chops and I would like to eventually sell it…but that takes as long as it takes. Just to write [this one] it took me seven years to get sold. You never know…but the process is fabulous.

Speaking of your lengthy run, how do you keep the material fresh after doing it for so long? What I do is first of all–I’m a pro–so I stay in great shape. I get plenty of rest. It’s very difficult saying the same line for the ten thousandth time, in which the audience has to know that it’s the first time–you want to give them their money’s worth. It’s very difficult when you’re doing that, sometimes you’re just exhausted. You have no choice but to just get out there, suck it up and do it. That’s probably the biggest challenge and that’s one of the reasons why I’m working on new material is to get a freshness. I can still go out with old material, but look, people on Broadway have been doing the same show for eight years. You have to take that you’re not alone in this and that you’re a professional and this is what you do. All of the negative stuff pales in comparison to the positive. So, I’m making a living doing something that I wrote. I have to be honest, there’s very few people who can stick with something until it’s ready for marketability. I know friends who’ve been trying to do this for years and they have the talent but they don’t have the intangibles that go with it.

Do you still get nervous before each show? You’re always going to have a certain amount of nerves. The nerves are lessened by a couple of things. One is being really prepared. [Another is] having the confidence, that’s you know, using a mantra that it’s work…it works. But of course, you never know, depending on where you are what the demographic might be. There’s certain demographics I’ve done where the laughter is remarkable. And there’s also certain demographics where they’re much more reserved and yet they’re still really enjoying it. Another is that sometimes there may be fifty people in your audience–which is depressing–but other times there may be 200 people in your audience. Sometimes you have may audience and get nothing…it’s like pulling teeth because they might be afraid to laugh. Now, I wouldn’t trade that because it strengthens you. If every show is just an A plus you don’t learn anything. But when you’re in the middle of doing a show and some line the night before in some other city kills and you get noting that night, well…

How are the Philly audiences? Philly is phenomenal. First of all, I know the demographic, I live in New York. I opened for George Carlin once in Philly years ago at the Tower Theatre. [There’s the] Jews in Cherry Hill–and I don’t even need Jews–it’s not a question. But I know there’s a lot of Jews in the area and it certainly doesn’t hurt. Remember, Philly’s a cultured area..it’s only an hour and forty-five minutes from New York. It’s an area that has tremendous history. I consider it like a suburb of New York, [so it’s] definitely got the same type of demographic. 

Okay, back to the play. It took you seven long years to write. Tell me a little about the process of…it all. Let me explain how it went. In 2005 I was still waiting tables and I had a guy who’d known I’d done a couple of one-person shows that I never made money off of–I just wrote them and did them. But he knew of my history and said to me, ‘Look, if you ever decide to do another one-person show, I’ll produce it.’ At some point, I said..’Why not?’ So, what I did was something quite unique–I decided to do, like, a hybrid. [This was] where I used the comedy material that I was doing [at the time], and I took the material that was funny and I put it together with the more serious stuff about my Father dying and so forth. So, from 2005 to all the way to 2013 when I sold it, I started doing [the material] on the road and soon, word of mouth became huge and two producers ended up flying down, saw it and offered to buy the touring rights for seven years the following day. It was less writing it in that period, but more performing it and getting it up to snuff. 

Who are some of your comedic and acting influences? Remember, I started comedy when I was forty-two, I’m sixty-three now. I was a consummate late bloomer. The only thing where I was an early bloomer was in sports, actually, and I was really great. But when people ask me who my influences are, I always say..’nobody.’ Doesn’t mean I don’t think there are certain comics who are great, I was more influenced by when I saw John Malkovich in an Off Broadway play called True West–he was extraordinary and remarkable. I knew from the moment he did that show, that I was set for life. I would also say early Pacino, early DeNiro, Meryl Streep, and you know that whole group of people who were doing their masterful work back then. 

I also understand you worked side-by-side with the late, great Ms. Joan Rivers. What was experience like? You know it’s interesting, that weekend she went into the hospital, I was coming to New York for a new [show run]. My producers and my PR guy reached out to her and she was going to do a radio spot as soon after she [got] out of the hospital. And of course, sadly we didn’t, but I would say working with her from the past was a joy because I made her laugh spontaneously off stage. She was a character, a real pro. She loved working, she loved the money. But she always said an empty calendar was her biggest fear…..she didn’t want to stop and, you know, if it wasn’t for this stupid procedure, we’d still be performing. We lost a legend. 

One last moment of truth….why should everyone and their Jewish mother come see you at the Penn’s Landing Playhouse over the next month? I would say, first of all, [the show’s] real. There have people that have said to me-‘I feel like I’m not in the theater, I feel like I’m in your living room when you’re just telling us stories. That’s the highest praise you can get. I think that what people can get from my show is that I’m sharing me in a way that’s raw, unguarded and genuine. Also, everybody will always find something to relate to. There’s something for everyone–you don’t have to be Jewish you just have to be willing to have not just a good time, but an experience. 

For much more with Brad Zimmerman, check this out. 

Brad Zimmerman cover photo courtesy of Heron Agency 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Philly Weekly Entertainment Groove

From a double dose of Zedd at the Electric Factory to your final chances to take in the Pennsylvania Ballet presents The Sleeping Beauty and Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum from the debut of the Philadelphia Monster Ball prestented by the one-and-only, DJ Robert Drake, there’s lots to do (and so much more!) as we all dive a little bit further into October.

Let’s do it. 

The GLOW If you’re looking for a fun night with the entire family or maybe looking for the perfect place to take a fall date, then prepare your Halloween-ed selves for a lovely stroll through Fairmount Park one of these upcoming nights to experience this one of-a-kind jack o’lantern extravaganza! Complete with top-notch pumpkin carvers, stunning visual art (hey there, Santa’s Christmas Village and Bey and Jay!) and much, much more, it’s an evening full of delightful fright that you’ll never forget anytime soon. But you better hurry up and grab those tickets because time slots are filling quickly, so go right here to grab yours…now. Happy pumpkin spiced trails, Philly! Various ticket prices and showtimes/5201 Parkside Ave/Fairmount Park

My Son the Waiter:A Jewish Tragedy Get ready to laugh your ass off, Philly, because famed comedian Brad Zimmerman is here and serving up non-stop laughs in his critically acclaimed play! The story of “one man’s struggle to fulfill his dream and ‘make it’ as a comedic actor in New York,” this show has it all, that is, if you like to laugh out loud for ninety minutes straight. Really, who doesn’t in these crazy times? So, don’t delay and grab those tickets now! But you better hurry because this show is only here for a few weeks and this is one fab night out you do not want to miss. Meaning….you, so, go and Mr. Zimmerman will see you there! Tonight-Nov 19th/Various dates & showtimes/Penn’s Landing Playhouse/211 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.

Sing Your Life Karaoke w/ Sara Sherr Now that fall has officially (finally!) arrived, there’s no better time to head out to belt out your favorite karaoke groove in which the always colorful Ms. Sherr has everything you need for your song butchering/slaying pleasure all week & weekend long. Ready, set sing…for your yoga pants life. Sun, 9-2 Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South Street Tues, 9-2 12 Steps Down, 9th and Christian Thurs, 10-2 W/N W/N 931 Spring Garden, Fri, 9-1 Southhouse, 2535 S. 13th St. Saturday, 9-1:45 Les & Doreen’s Happy Tap,1301 E Susquehanna Ave

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum You must not walk, but run to the box office at the Walnut Street Theatre to grab those tickets to take in Stephen Sondheim’s classic Tony Award-winning Best Musical, which has been described as “a nonstop laugh-fest in which Pseudolus, a crafty slave, struggles to win the hand of a beautiful, but slow-witted, courtesan named Philia for his young master, Hero, in exchange for freedom. The plot twists and turns with cases of mistaken identity, slamming doors and a bevy of beautiful showgirls. This unforgettable, hysterical musical comedy will have you laughing all the way to the Forum with “something for everyone, a comedy tonight!” All meaning….go. Walnut St. Theatre/tonight-October 22nd/various prices and showtimes

Pennsylvania Ballet:The Sleeping Beauty Now, what could be better than seeing this classic fairytale being retold by the talents of the incredible Pennsylvania Ballet? Absolutely nothing. Throw in one of Tchaikovsky’s most exquisite scores and you’ve got yourself one truly enchanted night out. Various dates and showtimes through October 22nd/The Academy of Music/1420 Locust St.

 

Zedd  Although the Friday show for the double dose of Ariana’s “Break Free” buddy at the Electric Factory is sold out, there still might be one or two tickets left to his Thursday spot, so go here now to bag ’em up while you can. And if you need further convincing, listen to his summer smash, “Get Low” co-starring Liam Payne everyday…for the rest of your life. Thursday/8 pm/Friday/830 pm/Electric Factory/421 N. 7th St.

 Cheat Codes Because you’re still totally obsessed with “No Promises” (you betta werk, Ms. Lovato), there’s no reason not to grab your chance to witness this tantalizing L.A. based electronic trio takeover over the Philly stages this Friday night. Let’s dance..because we must. Friday/10 pm/NOTO/1209 Vine St.

Lisa Loeb Yes, that Lisa Loeb. So, put on your cat-eye glasses, do not call your ex and grab those tickets.  Friday/6 pm/Sellersville Theatre/24 W. Temple Avenue 

Philadelphia Monster Ball  It’s that time of year again, kids! Time for the dead to rise, tricks ‘n treats to be had and seeing if we still have those coveted “Thriller” dance moves down to perfection. However, this Halloween season in Philly will be extra “spooky wooky” this year as DJ Robert Drake along with The Striptease Orchestra are about to unleash the debut of this truly one-of-a-kind monster-stravaganza. Get ready to dress up as ANY monster you want (whether classic or from your crazy ass mind) and prepare yourself for a ghoulish Saturday night filled with lots of great music, freakish fun, monstrous fashion and a costume contest that you know you want to win! So, get crackin’ on it all, but first grab those tickets right here before this event flies into the scary night forever. Saturday/8 pm/The Trocadero/1003 Arch St. 

Also on the local and legendary entertainment decks for your……..

 

Friday 10/20 

Vance Joy@Union Transfer(8 pm, 1024 Spring Garden St.)…………Ben Folds @The Fillmore(9 pm, 29 E. Allen St.)………..Moon Taxi@TLA(9 pm, 334 South St.)………Marco Benevento@Underground Arts(9 pm, 1200 Callowhill St.)……….Bear Grillz @Disctrict N9ne(830 pm, 460 N. 9th St.)……….The High Divers @Milkboy Philly(830 pm, 1100 Chestnut St.)….Justin Martin@Coda(11 pm, 1712 Walnut St.)

Saturday 10/21 

Misterwives @The Fillmore(7 pm, 29 E. Allen St.)…………Lee Brice@Electric Factory(421 N.7th St., 830 pm)…………Judah &The Lion @TLA(8 pm, 334 South St.)……..JJ Grey/Mofro@Union Transfer(1024 Spring Garden St., 8pm)………Party Favor@District N9ne(9 pm, 460 N.9th St.)…….Manhole@Ortlieb‘s(8 pm, 847 N. 3rd St.) 

Sunday 10/22

Sinful Sundays w/The Godess Isis@Tabu (9 pm, 200 S. 12th St.)………Showtunes Sundays@Tavern on Camac(9 pm, 243 S. Camac St.)…….King Krule @Union Transfer(8 pm, 1024 Spring Garden St.)……..ZZ Top @Tower Theatre(8 pm, 69th & Ludlow Streets)……Lila Downs @Merriam Theater(7 pm, 250 S. Broad St.)……Lawrence Rothman@Johnny Brenda‘s(9 pm, 1201 Frankford Ave)

Want more…stuff like this all of the time? 

Be sure to follow Philly Mixtape right here and here. Hey, it’s all about the music and entertainment lover in all of us. 

Cover photo courtesy of Yahoo! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Reasons Why We Should Forever Worship P!nk

Grammy winner…….Earth shattering singer……incredible performer…….jaw dropping aerialist……..four Billboard Hot 100 #1 Singles…….thirty-three music videos…….forty-seven million albums sold worldwide….stand out wife and mother of two…and one bad ass attitude that we simply can’t live without.

Plus, she’s from Doylestown!!

Yes, those are all of the stand out elements–if not just a few–that make up the now nearly two-decade lasting legacy of one Alecia Beth Moore, otherwise known to all of us as the one-and-only, P!nk.

While it’s easy for any one of us to sit around and spill about our favorite Ms. Moore moments in music time (“Feel Good Time” from Charlie’s Angels:Full Throttle and “God is a D.J.,”anyone? Yes.), it takes less time to just simply bow down and worship anything and everything she’s given us over the years and will no doubt continue to do so as the decades roll on.

And if you throw in her well received latest set, Beautiful Trauma (which is aiming to give her another chart-topping record), a much, much buzzed about electrified set on SNL this past weekend and a high-profile spot on this morning’s Good Morning America, there’s a few more reasons why all of us should forever worship P!nk.

Here’s ten more…..

1.”There You Go” The one that started….it all. No further statements. 

2.”Lady Marmalade” 4 Lyfe……   Just ponder this for a music moment–and all tea, no shade–out of all of the lovely ladies on this Billboard Hot 100 dominating Moulin Rounge owned Labelle rewire from 2001, which one is still the most relevant? And no, the answer’s not Lil’ Kim, Mya or (sigh) Xtina. Hey, at least they all nabbed a Grammy for this one. Go on, soul sistahs……

3.We’ll always understand “Mizzundastood”   “L.A. told me you’ll be a pop star, all you have to change is everything you are,” chants P!nk on “Don’t Let Me Get Me,” The second single from her sophomore set, Mizzundastood, which is still the songstress’ best selling record with fifteen million in headphones worldwide.

So, why did the music kiss off work? Because this album was basically a big “fuck you” to her label Daddy, L.A. Reid, who had a hissy fit when P!nk wanted to transition from those basic Destiny Child beats from her debut, Can’t Take Me Home, (again..all tea no shade) into a more pop rock influenced sound. 

But what it all boils down to like Alanis (she’s another pop diva who went from cookie cutter to cookie cruncher on her sophomore set) is that first….P!nk truly showed us that’s it’s all good to be your damn self and not part of the clique. Second….she truly fucking rocks.

And it all started right here, which is why we’ll always understand it all when it comes to her standout second studio effort. 

“Get the Party Started” indeed, Ms. P!nk. Like, right now. 

4.Sigh…….”Just Like a Pill”  We fucking couldn’t back in the summer of  ’02, and we still fucking can’t to what is arguably one of the best recorded pop rock ballads that’s ever graced the Billboard charts. Plus, this video and those fucking rabbits. God damn, you, Alecia. 

5.This Grammy performance……    Four words…”Glitter in the Air.” Again…no further statements. Just watch and try not to clutch your pearls while doing it. You god damn can’t. 

6.And then there’s this pearl clutching moment……   Hey, we all have to take a header off of the stage at some point in our lives. But at the end of the day, it’s all about how you pick yourself up and carry on…all while dropping a few “F” bombs along the way, of course. You know, because life. Love you, gurl. 

7.She knows a thing or twelve about love…..      In case you’ve been living under a music rock for the past two decades, P!nk has had quite the fine gentlemen by her side during her rise to the top in that of professional motocross racer Carey Hart, whom she met at the 2001 X Games right here in Philly. Although the two split in 2003, they eventually got hitched in 2006 in Costa Rica and, well, split again three years later.

But lucky for all of us, the two crazy kids worked it out just a short time later and now have two beautiful children together–daughter Willow, 6, and a ten-month old baby boy, Jameson, all of whom are seemingly living that happily ever after kind of life. It just goes to show you that one, long-lasting commitments take a long time and a lot of work. (So, get off of those fucking apps and put it in, guys, girls and gays).

And two, without Ms. P!nk’s and Mr. Hart’s love woes tracks like “So What” (in which Hart also appeared in the video) and pretty much every song off of her 2012 Let’s Talk About Love record just wouldn’t have had the same impact on our music minds……that there is hope out there for the rest of us.

Plus, they’re just like so fucking cool together, aren’t they? 

8.She’s a kick-ass Mommy…..    As we’ve seen, beneath all of those Billboard hits, that undeniable sass and trademark kick ass attitude, P!nk’s parenting skills have got it going on. Whether it’s taking her kids on the road (they’ll be joining the diva on her upcoming Beautiful Trauma tour) to experience the world or teaching them strong family values and how not to be like forty-five, those adorable kids are truly lucky to have P!nk has their fabulous Mother. 

But what truly makes us want to hand P!nk the Madukes of the Year Trophy was the speech she delivered during her acceptance when receiving this year’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at this year’s VMAs. Dedicated to her daughter, Ms. Moore served out a beautiful buffet of wisdom laced words that didn’t just reign true to all of the upcoming lovely ladies of the world, but hit close to home for all of us, and well, just watch it over and over again. It’s hard not to. 

Btw…”What About Us” is certainly not a love song..this now infamous speech explains it all. Yas, P!nk, yaaaas.

9.She’ll always be sort of underrated pop royalty……and we love her for that.  If you ask anyone to list the divas that were responsible for changing the pop music game back in the late ’90s/early ’00s, their list would go as follows–Britney, Christina, Jessica and Mandy. Hell, some brave souls might just add Willa Ford.

However, one name that’s always omitted is P!nk‘s…and we truly have no idea why as her debut record came in 2000 right between Britney’s debut and “Oops,” so you know it was seriously right in the middle of all kinds of pop music shit goin’ down. Hmmm….maybe it’s because the choreography in the “Most Girls” video was in a class of its very own? Sigh..guess we’ll never know. 

But what we do know is that P!nk knows she’s always been sort of “underrated.” “I’ve never won the popularity contest,” the singer recently spilled in a fascinating article with the New York Times (which you should read right here).  “I was never as big as Britney or Christina. If you look at any paragraph about pop music, I don’t get mentioned — my name doesn’t come up. And yet, here I go again, right under the wave, duck-diving,” she spilled to the Times. 

However, it’s all god damn good because you know what makes a true pop diva? One that not only is completely aware of her career and the direction it should follow (you listening, Mariah?), but one who still has the talent to back it all up, all while never abandoning her fans and giving it to us in a way that only she knows how to do…just by being fucking P!nk

And for that, we’ll all be bowing down to anything and everything for the rest of our music lives. 

10.Do you really need another fucking reason?    Okay, well, how about that time she slayed Ms. Janet’s iconic  “Miss You Much” choreography on MTV Icon?

Or….

Her pair of pulsating performances from this weekend’s SNL

Or….this fucking delicious “Sweet Dreams” flavored remix to “Get the Party Started” co-starring Redman? 

Get the point? Good…let’s P!nk…for life. 

“Oh, where, oh where have the smart people gone?” Classic.

Want more shit like this, like, all of the time?

Then follow Philly Mixtape right here and here

P!nk cover photo courtesy of Billboard