Thursday, December 14, 2006

Aimee Mann's Christmas Show

The first annual Aimee Mann Christmas show was so appealing in a shambling way that it might just become an annual tradition for me as well. Started out modestly, with comic Paul Tompkins taking a while to grow on me. He was the master of ceremonies for the show, which casually satirized the 70s variety show format, with special guests popping in and low-key banter the lingua franca. "You're Mean One, Mr. Grinch" was an early highlight, with Grant lee Phillips doing a great job w the narration. I actually would have preferred Phillips (and Mann) to stick almost exclusively to holiday tunes. But Mann's cover of "One" seemed to fit the holiday mood nicely and her slightly menacing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" was wonderful. Tompkins later standup (joking about Jews and how we should give a nod to Hannukah but what song should we sing?) was funnier as the night went on. His take on "Ring Of Fire" with Jewish lyrics about the oil that burned, burned, burned was especially good. Then Nellie McKay came in and stopped the show with her amazing presence, droll comic delivery and medley of three songs, including a super-high-pitched "Frosty The Snowman." She is such a talent. It all ended with a rambling, messy sing-along on "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" whose sloppiness seemed just right. Great fun. Thanks for getting the tickets, Alisha!

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