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Comedian Kathy Griffin on Broadway: What did the critics think?

March 14, 2011 |  3:35 pm


Brassy comedian, D-list celebrity and arch-nemesis of Sarah Palin, Kathy Griffin wants to add a Tony Award to her list of partially dubious accomplishments. In fact, the name of her latest comedy show, now on Broadway, is exactly that -- "Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony."

Griffin's two-hour stand-up act is playing at the Belasco Theatre in New York for a limited run through Saturday. In a recent interview, the comedian said she would be eager to host the Tony Awards ceremony on June 12 if producers ask her. At the very least, her new show ought to be eligible for Tony consideration this season, but it remains unclear what category it will fall under since organizers have discontinued the  "special theatrical event" category.

Griffin joins a noteworthy list of comedians who have brought their solo acts to Broadway, including Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Mario Cantone, Dame Edna and Whoopi Goldberg.

Keep reading to find out how critics reacted to Griffin's show...

Charles Isherwood of the New York Times wrote that Griffin surfs "the deep waters of celebrity folly, leaping from topic to topic with the dizzy excitement of a bitchy girlfriend so delighted by the tidbit of gossip she’s just recalled that she doesn’t quite finish telling you the last one she started." In the end, her "lacerating take on current affairs is definitely not for the pop-culturally hidebound."

The New York Press' Mark Peikert argued that "what endears Griffin to her fans is that, unlike Joan Rivers, say, we never feel as if Griffin will turn her acid tongue on us. She’s in the world of L.A. fame, but not part of it, so she can sit back and take notes and then regale us with every misstep and mistake."

The New York Post's Frank Scheck wrote that Griffin "cuts down one celebrity after another" and  "it's clear that she still has the gleeful, outsider's perspective that's endeared her to legions of fans." At some points, the comedian appeared "nervous on opening night. She frequently glanced at a crib sheet and jotted down notes."


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-- David Ng

Photo: Kathy Griffin. Credit: Donna Ward / Getty Images