Review: Jackie Hoffman

Jackie Hoffman 2013

Jackie Hoffman, one of the city’s best comic singing actresses, creates cabaret acts that tell hilarious self-deprecating tales about the sad state of her career. It really doesn’t matter if she’s actually doing fine career-wise, she always manages to find the wickedly funny downside.

In her new show at 54 Below, “Old Woman, New Material”, Jackie continues a trend of emphasizing observational humor more and more, but the observations she makes are many times more twisted and cutting than in traditional standup – on subjects like Adolf Hitler or her own strong dislike of small children. Her comedy extends to music as well, in songs like “Pulled, Tucked and Lifted” and “iSong”.

While she clearly isn’t above making jokes at her own expense, Jackie exudes more and more confidence every time I see her. She can also be surprisingly humble and warm, and she incorporates those qualities with increasing subtlety and deftness. She also does a couple of proper showtunes in addition to her usual hilarious specialty numbers, reminding us that she is also an exceptionally talented singer.

Jackie Hoffman’s cabaret shows have long been one of my very favorite things in the whole New York performance world, and this one more than lives up to that standard. Powerful vocals, acid humor that never gets all the way to self pity, a great character actress who just gets more glamorous while never losing her razor edge – long may Jackie roar!

For tickets, click here.

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