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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jesus And Buddha At Play

Posted on Wed, Sep 3, 2008 at 9:56 AM

Okay, Fringers. Top Ten Best Comedy Duos. 1. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy 2. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello 3. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 4. Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders 5. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore 6. Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster 7. Mike Nichols and Elaine May 8. Tom and Dick Smothers 9. George W Bush and Dick Cheney (black comedy of errors in the extreme) 10. Jesus and Buddha . Jesus and Buddha? Quoi? I hear you gasp. Want proof? For a surprisingly enjoyable two-man deity romp, take yourself to the Khyber 2 for Jesus and Buddha at play. For comedy to work well, it's patently necessary to have talented entertainers comfortable with each other to ensure that they possess that all-essential bang on timing for their material to "kill". And. of course, (d'oh) truly sharply honed and crafted accessible material for them to work. The tag, at play, exactly sums up Jesus and Buddha. Martin Sasinek, whippet-thin, long-haired, bearded, portrays Jesus as a somewhat performance anxiety-riven "dude" (an echo of Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski), unsure of what "Daddy" expects of him and worse, if he can even so much as modestly deliver on "Daddy's" Great Expectations. He frets. He kvells. He twitches. He sweats. The dude needs help. This comes, fortunately for Jesus, in the substantially round form of Todd Young's Buddha, depicted as a well-meaning, erudite but rather fusty Oxford don. In this rewarding amusement (blasphemous to only extremely hidebound boilerplate religionists) Jesus and Buddha share a close friendship which becomes all the more evident as we delight in their comparative, mutually respectful philosophical back and forths as they create the world, have coffee, go fishing, do Hamlet, play basketball, go to "war", get enlightened (beneath the Bo-tree - a potted ficus standing in for the tree of wisdom - score one for the Buddhists) and most pointedly, live in the here and now. Out of this scene, we're presented with yet another Best Comedy Duo. This time it's Tommy Chong (from Best Comedy Duos number 11. Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong) paired with John Lennon. Believe me when I say - this makes sense. Jesus and Buddha at play? Just the ticket for what this chippy, contentious world really really needs: a smart, funny, good-natured enlightening up.

Showtimes at the Khyber 2: Wed Sept 3 at 9:15, Sat Sept 6 at 6:00; Sun Sept 7 at 7:00 60 minutes $10.00

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