- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pick of the Pack

Comedy: Judah Friedlander

The modus operandi for today’s male comics, from Patton Oswalt to Louis C.K., is unhinged self-deprecation. To hear the best and brightest stand-ups tell it, they are all failures. Bad dads and bad lovers. Bad with money. Bad at their jobs. Fat. Unmotivated. One male comic has taken the path less traveled. Judah Friedlander, perhaps most widely known for his trucker-hat-wearing character, Frank Rossitano, on NBC’s “30 Rock,” is absolutely full of himself. His routine is a series of mounting superlatives delivered in a tired deadpan. Think the most obnoxious one-upper you know crossed with deadpan legend Mitch Hedberg. “He is the best athlete in the world, greatest martial artist, the sexual desire of every woman, and a role model to children,” touts his profile. “Let’s face it, Judah is the greatest comedian in the world. … And the most humble. Judah is an extra-dark black belt in karate.” Despite actually being none of these things, Mr. Friedlander’s routine is a riotous breath of fresh air. In a field full of schlubs, Mr. Friedlander is the only male comic claiming to be the ubermensch.

Friday and Saturday at the DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave NW

Phone: 202/296-7008

Web: www.dcimprov.com

Lecture: Kevin Kline

It’s not unusual to see Hollywood celebrities in the District, though it is rare for them to speak on topics about which they’re actually informed. That makes Kevin Kline one rare bird. On his impending visit to D.C., he will not promote the latest in desert solar power or international adoption policies, but rather, his bread and butter: acting. Mr. Kline, who won an Oscar for his role in “A Fish Called Wanda,” will submit to artistic poking and prodding by Michael Kahn, artistic director of the Shakespeare Theatre Co., as part of the theater’s ongoing 25th anniversary celebration.

Monday at Shakespeare Theatre Co., Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW

Phone: 202/547-1122

Web: www.shakespearetheatre.org

Film: ‘My Week With Marilyn’

Washington insiders are familiar with the journalistic practice of saving one’s best campaign tidbits for after the race has been won and selling them in book form. (Exhibit A: “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime.”) Colin Clark, a young Brit with stars in his eyes, did much the same thing when he omitted from his autobiography, “The Prince, the Showgirl, and Me,” the week he spent as Marilyn Monroe’s boyfriend while she was in Britain filming “The Prince and the Showgirl.” That lost week, which took place in 1956 when Mr. Clark was all of 23, has been turned into a film, starring, as Mr. Clark, the delightfully geeky Eddie Redmayne, known stateside for his heartbreaking roles in “The Good Shepherd” and “The Other Boleyn Girl.” The movie won’t break your heart quite the way Monroe broke Mr. Clark’s, but it’ll come close.

Through Dec. 1 at E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW

Phone: 202/452-7672

Web: www.landmarktheatres.com

Party: Friday Night Frights

What “The Twilight Zone” was to the baby boomers, “Tales From the Crypt” - which ran on HBO between 1989 and 1996 - was to Generation X. As befitting the generation that grew up with Bret Easton Ellis, as opposed to Ralph Ellison, “Tales” was campier, sexier and weirder, and provided a springboard for B-list actors. On Friday, the Black Cat will screen two episodes of the show. “Top Billing” features comic Jon Lovitz as an out-of-work actor who has to murder his competition in order to land a spot in an, um, unorthodox production of “Hamlet.” The episode “Dead Wait” stars James Remar (the ghostly father on “Dexter”) as a treasure hunter who attempts to steal a powerful artifact from a Caribbean plantation. Did we mention there will be drink specials? There will be drink specials.

Friday at the Black Cat. 1811 14th St. NW

Phone: 202/667-7960

Web: www.blackcatdc.com

Play: ‘A Second Chance’

While the ubiquity of online dating has effectively automated the process, we sometimes hear stories of people finding love the old-fashioned way: At parties, the country’s few remaining bookstores, on the Metro. “A Second Chance,” showing at Signature, supports the idea that there is love to be found IRL - Internet code for “in real life. Brian Sutherland plays a recently widowed man. Diane Sutherland, his real-life wife, plays a recent divorcee. The two meet at a New York dinner party and - you guessed it! - find love.

Through Dec. 11 at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va.

Phone: 703/820-9771

Web: www.signature-theatre.org

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