Theater archives



Oy vey, what kind of nice Jewish girl bites the hand that feeds her, not to mention her poor mother, that nice director who hired her, and all those people who paid I-hate-to-tell-you-how-much for their Hairspray tickets? Actually, Jackie Hoffman is hardly the first to have mocked her pittance of stage time in a big hit, her unpromising mug, or her rotten luck in showbiz. Belting the bouncy “Three Minutes on Broadway,” she deflates her own pretensions with a wicked combo of theatrical hauteur, self-parody, and shades of the great Broadway broads. Setting her own lyrics to ersatz show tunes by Lon Hoyt and accompanist Dave Brunetti, Hoffman punctuates the songs with dead-on caricatures of stars like Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore as well as ordinary folk. One she absolutely nails is the eternally sad Hadassah lady who introduces a panel on Jews and entertainment with prayers for that day’s terrorist victims. With equal parts bad taste and uncanny precision, Hoffman skewers gay dads, matinee audiences, and breast-feeding moms. Not since W.C. Fields has anyone been so deliciously mean about children. Hair in pigtails, she hilariously morphs into a bratty diva, wailing Sondheim’s “I’m still here.” Bubeleh, it’s not nice what you’re doing, but don’t stop!