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Concert Reviews:
Steve Martin and Martin Short score but leave fans wanting more at the Fox

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Friday, April 24, 2015

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DETROIT -- There may have been only two Amigos, but there were still plenty of laughs on Friday night, April 24, at the Fox Theatre.

Steve Martin and Martin Short's "In a Very Stupid Conversation...With Music" was actually quite clever, as you'd expect, although it could have used more music. Nevertheless the two comics breezed through a briskly paced (if somewhat slight) hour of 50 minutes of banter and witty scthick, all smooth but without feeling overly rehearsed. It really did have the feeling of two guys riffing off, and for, each other but letting 5,000 or so more people in on the jokes.

The two "Three Amigos" co-stars scored by not staying in one situation for too long. The night began with a stand-up duet in which the duo traded "Hollywood compliments -- i.e. insults -- of each other and themselves as a pair. They declared themselves in an opening song as "desperate for attention and need as hell," and Short said that, "Steve and I call this show If We'd Saved We Wouldn't Be Here." Martin took several jabs at Short's height and spotty career, while Short, 65, commented on the 69-year-old Martin's age ("looking 70 since you were 30") and pale appearance ("You look like a coloring book page that hasn't been colored yet").

When Martin took a shot at one of Short's failed TV shows ("It almost lasted an episode), Short parried back, "It was on at 9:30. I'm surprised your nurse let you stay up that late."

Martin and Short also brought three audience members on stage to re-enact the "Three Amigos" "salute," while each took solo turns: Short doing more jokes, culminating in a "Stepbrother of Jesus" song that found him stripping down to a nude bodysuit; and Martin strapping on his banjo to playing (not enough) bluegrass with his regular collaborators, the Steep Canyon Rangers. Short got into the musical act, too, portraying the "Pretty Little Woman" in a faux murder ballad.

The night's best routine, however was a ventriloquist set-up in which a well-disguised short played Martin's sharp-tongued dummy, dissing gleefully celebrities and politicians from both parties. The encore, however, fell flat with an encore song about killing time to fulfill the show's contracted length.

It's both a compliment and a disappointment to say that there was room for more on Friday, and it was abundantly clear that Martin and Short have the chops to have made a very good thing even better.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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