I’ll start with a joke:
A big shot Broadway producer walks into a bar. Bartender goes, “Big shot producer, huh? Well, I gotta Broadway show for ya!” Producer goes, “Oh, yeah? Lay it on me!” Bartender says, “A one-man show starring Mike Tyson!” Producer, “You mean the boxer, Mike Tyson?” Bartender says, “Yep!” ”Mike Tyson, the boxer that went to jail for raping a girl and who also bit off part of another fighter’s ear?” the producer asks. ”Thaaaat’s the ONE,” exlaims the bartender. Producer slaps his hand down on the bar and says, “That’s your gold right there! Let’s DO it!”
And I was so naive to think that it was only Hollywood producers who had issues with drugs:
Mike Tyson : Undisputed Truth is an evening spent with the former boxer/perpetual crazy person as he spins folksy yarns about his life, his experiences, and the lessons he’s learned from both. You know, lessons like, “it’s never nice to bite other people,” and, “they’ll usually put you in jail if you rape someone, so watch out.”
A few things to note here:
- The show was written by his wife Kiki, whose other writing credits, besides this show, include: her name sometimes, and a half-hearted attempt at a grocery list in ’05.
- The show was directed by Spike Lee. Yes, that Spike Lee. The seemingly angry film..uh, excuse me…joint-maker who always makes me feel really, really white whenever I see him on TV. Like that bad kinda’ “white-guilt” white that nags and nags about how I should appreciate Jay-Z more. (Sorry, Hova.)
- Oh, and because it can’t be pointed out enough: THIS SHIT IS ON BROADWAY!!!
Come on, Broadway?! Are you kiddin’ me?! How in the name of Stephen Sondheim does MIKE TYSON get a Broadway show?! You’re telling me you couldn’t come up with ANYONE else still living—in all of our recent pop culture history—to put on stage for a compelling run of theatre? Nobody? This was your guy all along, huh? Well, then why stop there? How about him:
Bernie Madoff in How To Succeed In Business With Really Lying!
Or how about this? It’s all about holograms nowadays, so why not develop a show around this guy:
Saddam Hussein in Relax, American Sows! It Is Jokes I Now Tell! And Maybe Share Recipes. Who Knows?! You’re Not Bosses Of Me!
I know Broadway hasn’t been Broadway for quite sometime now. And I’m talking about the one that first gifted us with Tennessee Williams, Marlon Brando, Neil Simon, Angela Lansbury, Mike Nichols, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Bernadette Peters, Patti Lupone and dozens of other undisputed artists that dignified its stages. And I realize that there’s still some great theatre going on there, but I can’t help but think of the enormous crap that would assume itself in Arthur Miller’s pants were he alive to see that a musical about Spiderman has been made.
But the all-encompassing gripe and worry about this show is one we should all share as a race of humans. And that is that a one-man Broadway show starring Mike Tyson is just one more failing in a long string of arts and entertainment failures nowadays. From Tyson to Tosh to Honey Boo Boo, I am without hope sometimes. You?