Reviews of shows from the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and other local venues published by the Los Cerritos Community News. The writer and paper are in their twentieth year of covering these events.

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Location: Fear City, Ca., United States

"My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre - as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to a cotton field." George Sanders in "All About Eve"

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jay Leno September 28, 2014

                   Jay Leno Opens Cerritos Season

                                               By Glen Creason

     Has success spoiled Jay Leno? That was the question for the many who crowded the Performing Arts Center over the weekend to hear the comedian hold court in his first visit to Cerritos. It has been said that Leno banks his salary from hosting “the Tonight Show” and lives off his busy stand-up schedule which truly seems to be his passion. Then again, the Center would have to go a long way to offer numbers of compensation impressive to a guy who is worth more than many counties in California and who owns more fine automobiles than most of us own articles of clothing. The two-hundred cars in his “garage” demonstrate that he certainly does not need Cerritos money but on Saturday night he gave everyone in the packed hall their money’s worth. For over an hour and a half Leno hardly took a breath and his rapid-fire observations on current events and the foibles of modern society kept the place rocking with laughter from the upper balcony to the sometimes foils in the front of the orchestra. While many just remember Jay Leno as the host who has sat alongside the greatest stars and celebrities in the entertainment world, he is also one fantastic comedian!
     My favorite new big word is paraprosdokian which describes the turn of humor in which there is a twist on the logical punchline. Jay Leno is a real master of paraprosdokian comedy where he begins with a pedestrian subject like local laws and makes it hilarious in his slant on the truth of the matter. On this night that may have included gay people in Salt Lake City, flip-phones, thieving monkeys, Thai nomenclature, Hugh Hefner’s opinions on sexual mores, side-effects of medicines, over-eating, Catholics, Mormons, Anthony Wiener, car accessories, alternative fuels, cats, dogs, airports and families. While that might seem like a catalog of the mundane, in the quicksilver mind of Jay Leno those topics left tears of laughter dampening audience faces and kept a steady flow of roars echoing across the great hall. Yet, the best of all was the closest to Leno’s heart as in the descriptions of his parents that rose above even the constant laughter to the kind of gut-laughs that almost hurt.  You have to tip your hat to the craft of the man: as a dyslexic he has overcome a lot and rose to great heights. This makes his ability to keep thousands laughing for over ninety minutes without even a note card to guide him all the more impressive.

      The show was opened by the fine and mellow “Street Corner Renaissance”, five very cool gents who demonstrated the fine art of a Capella singing. I would say the SCR took Doo-Wop above the street corner and made it concert worthy while igniting some old fuses of memory with winners like “Sh-Boom, This Magic Moment, Cloud 9, Come and Go With Me, Why Do Fools Fall in Love and the gorgeous “Up on the Roof.” Appearing before a crowd anxious to hear their hero Jay Leno, the gentlemen won over Cerritos by the second song.