ATLANTIC CITY — It’s not that comedian Kathleen Madigan isn’t grateful for the gig when she christens the new Showroom at the Golden Nugget on Saturday (Oct. 22).
She knows it’s an honor to be the first performer to work the intimate, 450-seat venue that was once the Shell Showroom when the property was Trump Marina.
But left to her own devices, Madigan would prefer to crack her jokes and spin her stories in a room that’s got some real history behind it.
“I really love those old, cool, 1,200 to 1,500 seaters with the red seats that are very ornate” and were built back in the Art Deco era of the 1920s and ’30s, Madigan tells Atlantic City Weekly.
“You find them in towns you wouldn’t even think would have a place like that,” she adds. “In the 1920s, this country had tons of money ... and you find these [theaters] in places like York, Pa.; Lancaster, Pa.; or the Count Basie [Theater in Red Bank], or the New Jersey State Theater [in New Brunswick]. I just did one of those old theaters in Saginaw, Michigan, and it was amazing. I think it’s just awesome that those places are being saved and not wrecked and replaced with something that’s sterile and boring.”
Comedy seems to play better in the older rooms than in a newer performing-arts facility, she explains, because people seem to get into a better mood in a theater with some history behind it.
“If you take a performing-arts theater in the Midwest that was built in 1990, sure, it’s new and it’s nice, but it’s also so sterile,” she explains. “There’s no soul there yet [and] that just takes time for a building to have a vibe or something.”
The newer facilities generally don’t offer drink service during the shows, she adds, which means guests who want to wet their whistle have to wait until an intermission.
“I’d rather they have a drink in the theater instead of having to go out at half time and get a drink,” Madigan says. “This isn’t the opera. Have a beer, I don’t care.”
Though they may lack the soul and personality of a theater that’s nearly 100 years old, casino showrooms, new or old, usually aren’t “sterile and boring,” Madigan says.
Much of that has to do with the fact that in a casino showroom, guests can usually have a drink during the show, even if it means getting the beverage at a bar outside the venue and bringing it in. Essentially, the more the audience drinks, the funnier Madigan’s material becomes, she says with a laugh during a recent phone call.
Madigan, 46, has a pretty good frame of reference from which to draw her observations about various venues around the country. A seasoned road warrior, she’s been performing her comedy for more than 20 years and spends up to 300 days a year traveling from one gig to the next.
She’s a veritable comedy machine, constantly writing slice-of-life observational material mostly for herself, but — when time permits — for a handful of other comics, too.
What makes us laugh varies so much from individual to individual based on life experiences and so many other factors, that the idea that one person can stand up in front of a crowd and make them all laugh consistently for more than an hour almost seems like a magic act.
"A casino is just like a little slice of heaven to me. I hope heaven is a casino and I hope I have unlimited hours at the dollar video poker machine."
Life is about experiences, not fun for Adam Carolla. That’s the reason the comic/actor/radio host agreed to perform on Dancing With The Stars in 2008. That’s why he appeared on the last edition of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, which aired last winter.
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Golden Nugget may be new in town … er, make that new BACK in town, but the acclaimed casino brand name knows that the fall is no time to slow down when it comes to fun at the shore.
There’s a new player in Atlantic City as the Golden Nugget officially took over operations of the former Trump Marina Tuesday, promising a $100 to $150 million renovation of the aging, and frankly, somewhat boring casino.
In what they hope will be a sweetheart deal announced on Valentine Day yesterday, Tilman J. Fertitta, Chairman, President, CEO and owner of Landry’s, Inc., parent company to the Golden Nugget Las Vegas and Laughlin, announced that Landry’s has agreed to buy the Trump Marina Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
"“I voted for Barack Obama, but I wasn’t a big backer like my sister, who is 10 years younger than me. She was like, ‘C’mon, vote for Barack, don’t you have any hope left?’ I told her that I lost hope for this country when American Airlines stopped giving out pillows."
This weekend’s lineup at the Trop’s Comedy Stop Cafe features a group of five veterans — veterans from the standpoint of their respective skills as stand-up comedians and veterans for having all served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Sandra Bernhard’s career has had the ups and downs one might expect from her primary profession as a stand-up comic. Her career has also included professional singing (not just in her stand-up but with several albums and a hit dance single) and an acting career in movies that got off to a brilliant beginning in Martin Scorsese’s King of Comedy (1983).