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    2008-2009 reviews:
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  • The Sound of One Hanna Clapping
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      The Sound of One Hanna Clapping
    Funny(ish) Girl

    Maybe comedian Hanna LoPatin is on to something — maybe working blue is out and clever-cuddly is in. And maybe not.


    As I left the tiny downtown upstairs Jazz Gallery Space housing the Fringe show "The Sound of One Hanna Clapping," a woman (who turned out to be the star's mother) handed me a one-hand clacker — the kind of toy sold at all those Chinatown gift shops, not too far away. Cute! Too cute for a hardened New York critic like me. And that was my problem with the show as well.

    Written and performed by: Hanna LoPatin.
    Directed by: Ana Gasteyer.
    The Jazz Gallery
    290 Hudson St. (between Spring and Dominick)
    Fringe Festival 2008, Aug. 8-24, 2008

    Hanna LoPatin, an Idina Menzel look-alike, brought her likeable little show to New York, directed by SNL comedy star Ana Gasteyer, the original Elphaba in the Chicago company of Wicked. "...One Hanna..." is an hour long comedy routine that would like to be a one woman theater piece. In today's female comedy world where performers like Sarah Silverman, Lisa Lampanelli and Margaret Cho work edgier and bluer than all the guys in the Catskills combined, Hanna made me smile, but she never made me laugh out loud,

    "..One Hanna..." comes across like the show you'd put on at camp for your parents. And strangely enough, while waiting to get in, I discovered that a good quarter of that night's audience consisted of Hanna's relatives and friends including her Nanna. They're a hardy bunch, many having flown in from her native Michigan and they were responsive, but I saw no one vote for her show as they were leaving — the key to gaining Fringe recognition. Nope, they were too busy getting those hand handouts.

      Hey Hanna — this is New York!!! Cute sets our collective New York City teeth on edge as a rule, even if the cute one does mention her shaved vagina, her hatred of Danny Devito and dating Jewish (but not too Jewish).
    Hey Hanna — this is New York!!! Cute sets our collective New York City teeth on edge as a rule, even if the cute one does mention her shaved vagina, her hatred of Danny Devito and dating Jewish (but not too Jewish). She also riffs on My Space ("...a great place to stalk ex-boyfriends) and rants "get your shit off My Space!" I appreciated her bit on wanting to date Michael Showalter ("...he's half-jewish, which is just the right amount"), even if — for those who'd never seen "The State," "Stella" or "The Baxter" — she spent two minutes explaining to her relatives, er, um, I mean the audience, just who Showalter is.

    Yes, Hanna's clever — in fact, if you squint, she comes across as a softer, gentler Sarah Silverman — they both play guitar and write the songs they sing. So maybe she's on to something — maybe blue is out and clever-cuddly is in. In that case, I take it all back, she's positively the next big thing and really cutting edge and I am Marie of Roumania! (thank you Dorothy Parker — now she's funny!)

    AUGUST 29, 2008

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