Category: Nokia Theatre

Stage review: 'MythBusters: Behind the Myths' at Nokia Theatre

January 16, 2012 |  4:18 pm

MythBusters
No, they don’t shoot a cannon onstage. 

But the cannonball that went astray during the filming of an episode of the Discovery Channel series “MythBusters” in December, damaging two Bay Area houses and a van, was a palpable presence during Sunday’s performance of the “Mythbusters: Behind the Myths” live stage show at Nokia Theatre.

“It’s not something that should be laughed about,” said Jamie Hyneman, when an audience question about the incident sent a ripple of knowing chuckles through the packed house. Both Hyneman and his partner in boyish high jinks (a.k.a., “blowing crap up”), Adam Savage, emphasized that they take safety seriously and that nothing like that will ever happen again.

Which, let’s face it, takes some of the fun out. One of the pleasures of “MythBusters,” in which special effects artists Hyneman and Savage test widely held beliefs (Does the color red really make bulls angry?) through ingenious, usually risky backyard experiments, is the hope that things will go a little wrong and that one of them (most often Savage) will sustain a minor injury. “MythBusters” onstage would have to be less explosive than “MythBusters” on TV (insurance and all that), but it’s hard not to suspect that that wayward cannonball dented the mojo of the 31-city tour, which kicked off Jan. 6. (Next stop, Wednesday in Riverside.) 

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The 'MythBusters' guys talk about their stage show

January 11, 2012 | 10:00 am

Mythbusters
Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage are the co-hosts of “MythBusters,” the long-running Discovery Channel series that tests, confirms or refutes (or fails to confirm or refute) urban legends, old adages and accepted wisdom — celebrating along the way the rigor of science, the making of things and, more than occasionally, their destruction. This last aspect made news last month when a “MythBusters”-projected cannonball overshot its target at a sheriff’s bomb disposal range in Dublin, Calif., tore through a neighboring house and came to rest inside a minivan. No one was hurt, fortunately, nor should anyone be when Hyneman and Savage bring their first-ever “MythBusters: Behind the Myths” stage show to L.A.’s Nokia Theatre on Sunday and Riverside’s Fox Theater on Wednesday as part of a 31-city tour.

The pair spoke by phone from San Francisco, prior to the first performance.

How will the stage show resemble the TV show?

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Comedy review: Eddie Izzard at Nokia Theatre

January 31, 2010 |  5:15 pm

Izzard The iPad was finally unveiled this week after a frenzy of excitement and speculation. Steve Jobs called the tablet “the best browsing experience you’ve ever had.” But Steve, have you seen Eddie Izzard? The British comedian who thinks different appeared this weekend at the Nokia Theatre, bringing his Google-scale fancy and nanosecond timing to talk about, as he put it, “everything that ever happened … with gaps.”

The buzz on his Stripped Too tour is that Izzard appears sans usual skirt and high heels. But the charismatic performer’s new look -- a black tailcoat lined in red satin, black shirt, Levi’s and black footwear of a manly variety -- didn’t prove a drag. He’s still applying eyeliner and a deadpan comic logic to dress down the world’s absurdities.

Besides running in charity marathons (27 miles a day, six days a week, for 51 days), Eddie’s latest passion is Wikipedia. For Izzard, nothing is as much fun as clicking on “one of those blue lines” and being transported to a new page with yet more information. (Of course, Eddie is the Original Hyperlink—it’s just that technology has finally caught up with him.)

“Wiki” refers to an easily edited, collaborative website; the word was coined by programmer Ward Cunningham, from the Hawaiian, meaning “quick quick.” And that’s the tenor of the evening, as Eddie speeds through a two-and-a-half hour history lesson. Call it stand-up disambiguation. (The set, with its massive receding panels, on which various ancient languages were projected, suggested an ancient temple. High on one wall, an animated window revealed a giant eye that appeared and disappeared throughout the show.)

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Eddie Izzard's Yemen connection

January 23, 2010 |  3:00 pm

Izzard2 Most people know that Eddie Izzard is perhaps the world’s most famous Transvestite Comedian (even   without much makeup, as my Sunday Arts & Books profile reveals) but very few know is that he’s also arguably the most famous Yemeni Comedian.  (His only competition, at least in the west, is Fahd Al-Qarani, who gained notoriety when he was jailed for a comedy sketch that mocked Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh).

Izzard is indeed a British subject, but on his UK passport his birthplace reads: Aden, Yemen — a seaport town near the Red Sea where Izzard’s father and mother met.  He lived there only until he was 12 months old, but given Izzard’s passion for history, he’s well aware of what’s been goingon there since his family left for Great Britain: “Yemen is a big deal for me…I’ve never really articulated that before, but it made it all happen.”

Izzard went back to Aden for the first time two years ago.  The visit, as well as old family pictures (some of which he showed me on his iPhone during our interview) and films of the Izzard family in Yemen can been seen on Saturday night as part of the documentary “Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story,” which airs at 10:30 pm on the recently launched EPIX Cable Movie Channel. Izzard -- sans makeup, pearls and heels -- can be seen at the Nokia Theatre this week.

--James C. Taylor

Above: Izzard at Madison Square Garden in New York. Photo credit: Jennifer S. Altman/For The Times

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