‘Comedy Is Hard’, but the Monkees’ Micky Dolenz makes it look easy
Once you get past the shock of seeing Micky Dolenz as a (gasp) 84-year old grandpa sitting in a wheelchair confined to an old-age home, you’re in for laugh-a-minute wild stage ride that is equal part comic shtick, near-perfect acting and classic theater,” he said.
Dolenz co-stars with “Three’s Company” star Joyce DeWitt in the play, which continues through Oct. 12, and he says it would be easy to categorize their roles as novelty or nostalgia casting.
But instead it is actually brilliant casting, as the seasoned pros make you quickly forget you’re watching the two beloved, well-known actors, and instead are watching Lou and Kay, a pair of senior citizens in the twilight of their years.”
Dolenz plays Lou Goldberg, a veteran borscht-belt-era comedian who, he says:
never transcended beyond the local Yuk Yuk clubs or the dreaded tours of Canada, and never connected with his straight-laced rather boring son, who’d rather keep him in the retirement facility than in his home.”
DeWitt plays Kay, a buttoned-up former serious stage actress seems to be the polar opposite of Lou, but he says they’re “odd couple” pairing makes for countless laughs and just enough heartfelt moments.
I’ve followed Micky for years and shouted the praises for this renaissance man for as long as I can remember,” Rosenay said. “Clearly he is one of the greatest and most-versatile voices of rock or pop music history, and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Dolenz on stage in ‘Grease’, ‘Aida’, and ‘Pippin’, so one might think that the singer/actor/musician doesn’t really ‘take a giant step’ in this stage role.”
Yet, in ‘Comedy Is Hard’, it’s incredible how much range he emotes as the (mostly) lovable slapstick octogenarian,” he says. “Whether rolling out one joke after another, spouting some Yiddish, cursing or singing whimsical burlesque-esque ditties, you simply can’t take your eyes off him.”
Picture a cross between W.C. Fields, James Cagney, Larry Storch and the zany young Micky with the rubber face who dominated the comical scenes in ‘The Monkees’ series, and you’ll get some idea of what Dolenz delivers in this production. And it’s mind-boggling the amount of lines that the leads needed to learn for the play.”
He says he saw the opening day matinee and couldn’t detect a flubbed joke or a missed line.
Mike Reiss, an Emmy and Peabody-award winning writer for “The Simpsons”, has put together an old-fashioned laugh-out-loud gem which could work just as well on a small New England stage as in a West End theater. Maybe even to an Off-Broadway stage, hopefully with Dolenz and DeWitt, or even a Broadway engagement. Rosenay told us the play is pure joy. “You’d be hard-pressed not to love it!,” he said.