P.T. Anderson, Maya Rudolph, Fred Amisen Offer Limited Time Stage Laughs

maya and paul

Unheard from since her final Saturday Night Live performance back in November of last year, I was getting ready to draft some “Have You Seen Her” posters for Maya Rudolph prior to learning that she’d be working with husband P.T. Anderson once more (Paul ghost-helmed A Prairie Home Companion for the then-ailing Robert Altman), in a stage performance consisting of several left-of-center, romantic comedy vignettes written for her and co-SNL-conspirator, Fred Armisen. On Wednesday I received this email from Joanna Calo (of Mr. Weatherbee’s), who graciously offered some notes on night one of a very exclusive two-night engagement in Los Angeles (Thanks for rubbing in in!):

“I went to that Maya Rudolph/Fred Armisen/PTAnderson show last night at Largo at the Coronet. Was VERY cool, FUNNY, smart, special. Music by Jon Brion, and a few songs by Maya and Fred, and a theremin bit.

Mainly it was set up like a stage reading – two stools, two music stands. Several slightly abstract, funny vignettes. Some characters and themes they returned to throughout.

My only complaint was that at the end of the show they came to the foot of the stage for their bow, and gave thank yous. The last thanks was from Fred to “Paul”, which was just seemed sort of coy…but maybe I’m cynical and bitter.

Steve Agee, Sarah Silverman, Jack Black, and Matt Reeves were in attendance….

Hadn’t been to see comedy or anything in a long while, was very glad I did.”

Happy to hear that Maya – profiled in a March Vanity Fair round up of today’s funniest leading ladies – is staying sharp. Though she’s set to star alongside John Krasinski in the upcoming Sam Mendes rom-com, Farlanders, that’s just about the one publicly confirmed project she has lined up thus far. It could be that she’s focused on motherhood nowadays, which is great for her but amounts to unrealized laughs for the rest of us.

Said our correspondent of Maya’s Largo performance, “She was just fantastic to watch. She looks like no one else and she was just glorious in her Maya-ness: her voices and her singing, specifically (did I mention the show opened with all of us standing for the national anthem, which was sung in some vaguely hispanic language?). I listened to PT on The Treatment last year and he just seemed so fantastically smart and normal. I know it’s easy to romanticize these things, but he and Maya just seem to be the fanciest little couple you could ever imagine.”

Posted by Ted Zee on August 07th 2008 | Home Page | 23 Comments Subscribe to this site's feed

23 Responses

  1. Jason Says:

    Was able to get tickets to this show because of your tip — a huge thank you! My wife is an ardent Maya Rudolph fan — the Maya/Fred “Nuni” sketch from SNL is one of our inside jokes (Nuni, Mike and Garf have taken on special meaning for us).

    Anyway, the show was wonderful and surprisingly elegant — it was very much in the style of the Nichols and May sketches.

    The Lonely Island guys were in attendance, along with Bob Odenkirk, Madeline Zima from Californication, and many others.

    Favorite sketch: Fred’s goofy brooklyn guy, out on a date with Maya — “You’re stick and bones. I don’t like girls like you. I like meat on my girls. But I’m crazy about you. I’m over my head I’m so crazy about you. With your ugly brown hair and your skinny sack of bones and I’m nuts about you…”

    Needless to say my wife now thinks I’m a total stud because I somehow heard about this show. Cheers!

  2. weezy Says:

    I caught this last night. Impressive, funny, and touching show. There was a skit reminiscent of the “Nuni” SNL sketch where Maya speaks in an accent over John Brion’s baroque romantic piano playing – it was one of those moments where I was not sure if I was ever going to stop laughing, even when there was nothing to laugh at. Tears. Belly ache. Totally worth it.

    The best part was going with my boyfriend and getting the sense that this play was PTA’s ode to relationships, and perhaps his with Maya in particular.

    The biggest surprise was Fred Arimsen playing the “Happy Birthday” song on the theramin. He is an awesome theramin player!

  3. Ted Zee Says:

    Jason, Weezy,

    Thanks for the recaps. Sounds like a memorable night out.

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