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Don’t Miss Lily Tomlin at the UPAC

  |   March 10, 2011  |  Comment

The Bardavon is pleased to present An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin, a solo performance by one of the most innovative forces in American comedy. On Sunday, March 27, at 7pm, Lily Tomlin will fill the stage with her hilarious and incisive characters – both old and new.

Lily’s extraordinary career spans 40 years.  She has won (over a 40 year career) two Tonys, two Peabodys, six Emmys, a Grammy, an Oscar nomination, awards from the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle, plus the Mark Twain Prize for American humor. She is, without a doubt, a living legend with work in feature films, records, television, and theater.  Her characters from the television show Laugh-In (which ran from 1969-72) — the precocious 5 ½ year old Edith Ann and the telephone operator Ernestine – are cultural icons. Lily’s characters make us laugh because they strike a chord in us, whether she’s lounge lizard Tommy Velour, the housewife from Calumet City IL Judith Beasley, Sister Boogie Woman, or Trudy the Bag Lady.

She explains her approach: “I try to construct a compressed accuracy, a character essence that is as true and real as I can get it. I never play for a joke, per se.”  Film director Robert Benton, who worked with her in The Late Show, said of Tomlin, “Her imagination is so vast that she just assumes the personality of the character.” Tomlin’s range is wide. In her 1975 film debut, Tomlin was nominated for an Academy Award for her searing portrayal of a gospel singer and mother of two deaf children in Robert Altman’s Nashville.

In 1977, Lily made her Broadway debut in Appearing Nitely, written and directed by Jane Wagner, her partner for over 30 years. She won a Tony Award for that performance. In a recent interview Lily talked about their masterwork, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, which was originally produced in 1985 and remounted in 2001. It was an attempt to find “the common experience of being a human being and muddling through and trying to have even a small portion of sanity and peace and some joy.” In addition to touring and other projects, Lily had a recurring role on the TV show The West Wing. She remains committed to a number of social justice issues and a few years ago Lily and Wagner opened a cultural center in LA to offer arts events and to raise funds for people with HIV and AIDS.

Tickets for the Sunday, March 27, 7pm An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin concert at UPAC in Kingston are available at the UPAC Box Office (602 Broadway, Kingston, 845.339.6088), at the Bardavon Box Office (35 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, 845.473.2072), and through Ticketmaster (800.745.3000 or www.ticketmaster.com).  Seats are $71 Golden Circle, $51 Adult and $46 Member. For further information, please visit www.bardavon.org.

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