Friday, February 17, 2012

PREVIEW: "Township to the Stage"

Trevor Noah, the subject of David Paul Meyer's "Township to the Stage."
By Brad Weismann
BIFF DigiComm Director

Township to the Stage
Friday, Feb. 17, 9:45 p.m.
First United Methodist Church

 It will be my privilege to get up and introduce this film in a few hours. The phrases "South Africa" and "comedy" don't really seem to go together -- but this film is one of the best that I've seen about standup comedy.

This portrayal of the remarkable rise of an aspiring comedian manages to be a personal portrait, an historical survey and an examination of a wounded society all at once.

And there are dick jokes. It's a win/win situation!

Trevor Noah's quick rise to the top of the comedy profession in this formerly segregated society speaks to the resentment of the comedy old-guard, whose grumblings about Noah's racial content is not so much a product of apartheid as it seems to be jealousy at someone whose star has risen faster than they deem fit. Noah must ignore this static, develop a ehadliner's worth of materials, and avoid all the pitfalls of an entertainer's life -- including a shocking family crisis that threatens to derail Trevor's big show.

Director David Paul Meyer provides us with a real portrait of nervous moments offstage, bad gigs galore, and the diligence and self-control needed to succeed in the comedy business. As a survivor of the great American comedy boom of the 1980's, I can testify that "Township" is the real deal.

Come on over! We'll chat the director right after the screening. Let's face it -- the Bouler Theater has the big movies, but the Church gets the sleeper gems. Come over and say hi! Enjoy the show!

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