Saturday, September 26, 2009

Janeane Garafalo Does Dublin

Not only did I got to see comedian/actress/activist Janeane Garafalo do her first ever Irish standup show in Dublin this week I also had the pleasure of meeting her. Lovely! Garafalo is T.I.N.Y. in person and looks nowhere her 45 years. I was intrigued to see what kind of style her stand up would take figuring that whatever happened it was bound to be interesting. And I wasn't wrong.

Garafalo was undoubtedly funny but she was also fascinating and though provoking too. Veering from topic to topic and completely aware of her lack of focus she cut a charming and likeable figure. She touched off her experience in Ireland, her relationship with alcohol, her own self image, the origin of the universe (No. really.) and wrapped up with cute puppies and man sandals.

Her material on her own battles with alcohol/food/moderation were the most illuminating. Her unwillingness to subscribe to the advice willingly suggests someone who is glad to be sober and "healthy" but misses the ease with which alcohol allowed her to live her life.

I loved the blunt and refreshing way she talks about how it made her feel. It feel particularly apt for an Irish audience where much of what she said could be true for so many of us. Garafalo remembers fondly the ease with which she could talk to others, be sexy and generally function with alcohol after the closed off, religious upbringing she initially embraced. The show regularly felt like a therapy session played out on stage as Garafalo talks about her own problems with both the rehab process and the difficulty she has with life now. This is the material that has stuck with me as funny as Garafalo was and I think thats the biggest indication of how good she was. The ability to make one think and laugh is a real feat. And I didn't even go in to her (brilliant!) Natalie Portman material.

Garafalo is undoubtedly a comedy force to be reckoned with and I felt lucky to see someone so obviously talented in action. Hopefully she'll return for another visit sooner rather than later. Until then I now have a new YouTube obsession. Lovely!

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