Charged-up comedy has universal appeal
San Diego Union-Tribune
Let me put it this way: “Triple Espresso,” now gracing the boards at the Horton Grand Theatre, ranks with the most entertaining shows I have ever seen on any stage. I am not exaggerating here.
And, you must believe me, I have seen a few shows in my time. And you must also accept my assertion that, in critical terms, in witnessing a performance, I am not exactly a pushover.
Measured on all counts, “Triple Espresso” is a gem, a prize, a knockout, a truly funny and joyous production that emerges as that conspicuous rarity: a grand entertainment for all ages.
And I think it holds significance, this particular kind of universality, this disregard for the years that separate the generations.
History tells us that many of our greatest comedy performers have been blessed with the special appeal that at once delights the adults and the small fry. The giants have always done this.
I am thinking of Will Rogers, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Edgar Bergen, Burns and Allen, Lucy and Desi, Victor Borge, Steve Allen, Bill Crosby, Sid Caesar, Jackie Gleason, Bob Newhart. I am also thinking of Jim Henson and the enduring legacy of his Muppets.
There is this notion that if a show bestirs laughter from the kids, then it just might be lacking in sophistication, and the adults would be wise to take a pass.
Sometimes but not always. And certainly this does not hold in regard to “Triple Espresso,” which came out of Minneapolis (a great city that is, I am told, second only to New York in the number of its theaters) and then triumphed earlier this year in Coronado at the Lamb’s Players’ Theater.
Directed by William Partlan and designed by Nayna Ramey, “Triple Espresso” was written by Michael Pearce Donley, Bob Stromberg and Bill Arnold. As the storyline goes, they have formed a comedy trio. The lads are booked for a gig on Cable Zaire, they have another gig at a Kiwanis luncheon, a turn of the “Wild Bill Hickock Daze” in North Platte, Neb., and a crucial guest shot on the old “Mike Douglas Show.” And always they miss the cut.
But in actuality, they are, all three, loaded with comic gifts and delicious timing, and I am issuing a gilt-edge guarantee here: They will make you laugh out loud.