Thursday, May 29, 2008
Robin Williams - "Working on Material" at Bimbo's Apr 14th & May 19th, 2008
Robin Williams performs "Working on Material" shows in intimate venues in his hometown of San Francisco in order to prepare for his annual MGM Grand Vegas show held on the May long weekend. He donates all of the "Working on Material" show proceeds to various humanitarian causes. This past month in addition to his shows at Bimbo's 365 Club, he performed 3 shows each at the Acme Comedy company in Minneapolis and the Showbox in Seattle, and several in the past two months at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley. According to my sources, the month before Williams and Dana Carvey were at a house party fundraiser for personal friend and Democratic Candidate Al Frankin. Williams and Carvey entertained onlookers by talking back and forth about George Bush in the different character voices they do. It was hysterical! Maybe his Minneapolis shows coincided with an Al Frankin visit. That's my guess.
I attended two of Robin's "Working on Material" shows, one month apart at Bimbos 365 Club in San Francisco. Both shows were different.
On April 14th while waiting in line for an hour an a half, I hooked up with a few cool people and had a blast. When the doors finally opened we bolted into the club and scored a center table in the third row. The audience was predominantly in their late twenties and thirties.
The voice announced "Ladies and gentlemen, Robin Williams" and the crowd went wild! Robin appeared on the stage dressed head to toe in black. His polo shirt was punctuated by a large white skull graphic with piercing eyes. Matching red "skull" sneakers, completed his cutting-edge 'chic n' playful' look.
Highlights from the April 14th show include "The Torch ceremony" described in an Asian accent; sports & steroid enhancements; the Obama / Clinton circus; Jack Nicholson's sizzling sex & drug scandals (hilarious); and polite Canadians! How about those those smokin' French Canucks! Eh? I laughed so hard I cried.
Williams is completely adored by hometown residents. Just ask anyone on the streets of San Francisco.
The May 19th show audience was a much older group comprised of grey, white and blue hairs. The show featured many more sex jokes and was on the whole a completely different set. The man behind me kept gasping. I thought he was going to have a heart attack. The "vagina" word does that to some people. That's probably why Oprah refers to it as "vajayjay". The "F" word was used regularly too.
Lines that killed me included . . .
"Its amazing how many dacrons died to make that" (directed at audience member wearing a leopard print).
"F'n Blackeberry broke down. I don't know what I'm gonna do. I actually had to talk to people. That's F'd up man!"
"Decaf, that's like masturbating with an oven mitt".
"Bejing is so polluted it makes LA look like Telluride".
"We've had the special olympics of politics for a long time".
On Jack Nicholson running for politics..."You'd never have a sex scandal because Jack's F'd everyone!"
Highlights included directory assistance, GPS, Tibetan terrorist, performance enhancement drugs, warning signs you're an alcoholic, the voice of evil speaking with the presidential candidates, the Pope, same sex marriage, polygamy, Scientology, and the human body (designed by committee), to name a few.
When asked after the show what their favorite Robin Williams bit was no one seemed to remember. Specifically what? Who knows! The master works his magic skillfully. Its like watching an overcaffeinated, overzealous, human rollercoaster in motion. Aspiring stand-up comic and Williams fan, Steve Eddy had this to say about the show.
Bimbo's provided the perfect intimate setting and the sound was fabulous. Tickets were reasonably priced at $40 and all of the profits went to charity, namely "Challenged Athletes Operation Rebound" and the "USO". A variety of charities benefitted from the "Working on Material" April and May shows.
If you get a chance to see Williams perform, please do so. You owe it to yourself to check out this international treasure live! Same time next year. Count me in!
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For the latest up to date information on Robin Williams check out the Robin Williams Fansite designed and maintained by Linda Stuurman.
(Left to right Steve Eddy, Ashley, Mike, yours truly, and Linda)