RED BANK: BASIE ROLLS (WITH) THE DICE
The old greaser’s pompadour has thinned; the paunch squeaks and strains against the trademark leathers, and the glasses could have come straight off the face of your great-aunt Totsie — but let no one say that the biggest/baddest of standup comedy’s many self-proclaimed Bad Boys has lost any modicum of his mojo at the mic.
Besides, even the most outrageously offensive rants, rhymes and roast-ready insults of Andrew Dice Clay read anymore like Tuesday morning’s tweets from the 2016 Presidential campaign playbook. And when “the only performer ever banned for life from MTV” (or first contestant ever thrown off Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” or SNL host who inspired the most cast member walk-outs) takes the stage of the Count Basie Theatre this Thursday night, August 25, he’ll be once more ascending a career rollercoaster that’s taken him from multi-night sellouts of Madison Square Garden, to a humbling stint beneath the low ceilings of basement comedy clubs — and a return to form in front of theater-sized crowds.
One could pin a lot of the Diceman’s rejuvenated fortunes on the once-bleeped comic kingpin’s renewed relationship with the television set. But rather than attempt to tame/tone down his image to fit network standards (as he did with “Bless This House,” the short-lived sitcom co-exec produced by Middletown’s own Billy Van Zandt), it’s the ever-morphing medium of TV itself that strove to sync up with the veteran actor (Michael Mann’s “Crime Story;” the rock-gumshoe comedy “Adventures of Ford Fairlane;” Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine”) — with talked-about, high-profile exposures on the last season of “Entourage,” the pilot for the Mick Jagger-Martin Scorsese misfire “Vinyl,” and “DICE,” the tailored-to-fit Showtime comedy that may or may not return for a second season in 2017.
So bolstered by those projects, a couple of top-selling DVDs, and the “brutally honest” memoir “The Filthy Truth,” the performer born Andrew Silverstein (a billing he employed in 2001’s “One Night at McCool’s”) is currently on the road with an “Outbreak Tour” that’s putting his brand of parental-advisory standup in front of sit-down audiences at many of the nation’s most family-friendly venues. Reserve tickets for Thursday’s 8 p.m. show ($25 – $95) are available right here — and check the Basie website for details on other upcoming comedy shows that feature John Caparulo (October 2), Jackie Mason (October 9), and Tracy Morgan (October 28).