Lenny Bruce: 13 Daze Un-Dug in Sydney 1962

30 Apr

I don’t write reviews. I write what people call responses. And I think Lenny Bruce would have liked that. He was never one to stick to the script.

Lenny didn’t do what comedians call a ‘routine’.  He just jammed away. He was a free thinker, and this informed the way he performed.

Photo by Marnya Rothe

Photo by Marnya Rothe

And I really enjoyed how this also informed Benito Di Fonzo’s Lenny Bruce: 13 Daze Un-Dug in Sydney 1962.

Playful, energetic, discursive – jazz like – this is entertaining, thought provoking theatre.

Lucinda Gleeson’s production is engaging and the cast is terrific. Sam Haft as Lenny is sensational.

But hang on, this is sounding awfully like a review……

So let’s jam.

What did this production make me think about?

Not the old Sydney that ‘undug’ Lenny. (Nostalgia is so yesterday.)

Not the new Sydney that will smugly congratulate itself on how far it’s come.

What this show made me think about was Lenny’s iconoclastic spirit.

Are we so very different from the puritanical audiences that he shocked in 1962?

What are the topics we won’t touch now?

What are the topics that would make us run someone out of town now?

The society of the early 60’s used the concept of decency to dismiss what it was too afraid to explore.

Now, we employ a knowing world weariness.

If we don’t want to think about something – say, the massive inequalities in wealth that still exist on our planet, or the way we squander our lives of unparalleled privilege by amassing superannuation – we now roll our eyes and say that it’s been said before.

And then continue to live in exactly the same way.

And that would have made Lenny say, ‘Fuck you!’

But he’s no longer here.

So it’s up to us.

Veronica Kaye

Lenny Bruce: 13 Daze Un-Dug in Sydney 1962

by Benito Di Fonzo

Bondi Pavilion til 4 May


One Response to “Lenny Bruce: 13 Daze Un-Dug in Sydney 1962”

  1. Fonzo Journalism (@difonzo) May 1, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    Thanks Veronica,

    glad you dug the show.


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