I Eat People Like You For Breakfast!: Serio-Comic Performance About a Jerry Lewis Betrayal
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The last date listed for I Eat People Like You for Breakfast! was Sunday July 10, 2011 / 7:30pm.
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Jamaica, Farewell returns to the Santa Monica Playhouse after successful runs all over the world. Debra Ehrhardt's solo show is based on a mostly true story about her journey to the U.S. from Jamaica in the turbulent 1970s of the Manley era. When Ehrhardt was an 18-year-old secretary in Kingston, she and her passion for America bumped into a handsome CIA agent over a bowl of oxtail soup. She decides to squeeze through the pinhole of opportunity with the help of this love-struck American. Her way out of Jamaica is blocked by many obstacles: an alcoholic father, a Bible-spouting mother, the price of airfare, and U.S. government suspicions. Nevertheless, she begins a dangerous adventure that only the single-minded passion of a teenage girl would chance. The boundary between bravery and foolishness becomes blurred as she grows more desperate. When she agrees to smuggle a million dollars in cash to a mysterious contact somewhere in Miami, the agent becomes her unwitting accomplice. Every part is played by NAACP Award winner Ehrhardt, an actress capable of amazing mimicry. This one-woman caper's got generous dollops of humor, laughter and light. Jamaica, Farewell has been optioned for film by a major Hollywood producer. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Goldstar Member
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In my forty-odd years of theatregoing, this was probably the worst evening I've ever experienced in the theatre. The writer/performer was shockingly unprepared and he actually admitted that he had not bothered to attend the one scheduled rehearsal. Throughout the "show," he kept shouting cues to the tech guy ("Go to disc number six!") and at one point, he actually left the stage to confer with the poor techie. The "show" was a sloppy, unfocused and completely unfunny mess made up of equal doses of self-pity and rage, and as if that wasn't bad enough, at several points, the performer, acutely aware that he was bombing big time, actually berated the audience for our lack of response!!! We paid money for our tickets, showed up on time and sat there politely, and then were berated by this person who didn't even bother to prepare and had not a shred of discernible talent? Really??!! The poor man is a powder keg in dire need of some good therapy and intensive anger management, and although I felt sorry for him, I couldn't wait to get away from him. The minute the "show" was over, my friends and I literally ran out of the theatre. It was advertised as being about "a Jerry Lewis betrayal," but we sided with Jerry (and you know things are bad when you're on Jerry Lewis' side).
Quotes & Highlights
- “I love this story! It’s the ultimate comedian story. It’s so vile and hideous, I just love it!” --Roseanne Barr
- “A hilarious tale of hero worship and dreams ... and the death of them all.” --Paul Provenza
- “Steven exists on the very edge of unlikable showbiz American, like a cross between Danny DeVito and Sgt. Bilko, which makes him all the more entertaining to watch.” --The Scotsman
When comedian and producer Steven Alan Green invited comedy icon Jerry Lewis to headline at the London Palladium, little did Green know that his life would be completely turned upside down. Now nearly a decade later, Green is still trying to find deeper meaning from that fateful decision.
I Eat People Like You for Breakfast! is a serio-comic tale of friendship and betrayal, fame and perception of fame, and what it’s truly like to be a comedian. But Breakfast is also about growing up and how Jerry Lewis reflected both Green’s self-absorbed ambitions as a comedian himself, as well as Green’s unresolved issues with his own father. A story of self-discovery, the show premiered at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2003 at The Gilded Balloon and at The New End Theatre in London in 2004.
Starting in 1981 at The Comedy Store as a paid regular and house emcee, Green established himself as a comedy force to be reckoned with. After five straight years of struggling to find his true comedy voice and “get discovered,” Green went up on stage and announced to the crowd present that he was “through with showbiz” and therefore was doing his farewell performance. Sixteen years and over 5,000 farewell performances later, Green moved to London, England, where he quickly established himself as a headlining comedian.
When he hit a glass ceiling (partially due to the fact that he is American), Green created High On Laughter, a comedy charity show for Turning Point Scotland, a drug and alcohol charity launched by Princess Diana. After two very successful HOLs – the first one starred George Wendt and Zach Galifianakis – Green brought the show to the famed London Palladium and soon High On Laughter III became the most talked about comedy show in both London and Hollywood.
Only one problem: Green needed an international star, someone big enough to bring in the live audience in London, but also help sell the filmed show to American television. Green needed an icon.
Enter Jerry Lewis. I Eat People Like You for Breakfast! is the story of what happened next.