It's unclear whether the big, bad economy can be blamed for the less-than-full turnout at Jim Norton's South Beach Comedy Festival gig last January at the Lincoln Theater. While Norton regularly sells out large venues around New York, alas, the radio morning show where he largely got his start, the Opie and Anthony show, is available down here only to satellite radio subscribers. And as Norton's star gradually rises, it seemed only northern transplants and early adopters showed up in South Beach, and that's too bad for everyone else. While he started out a little slow and sniffly, he quickly gained his trademark indignant steam. On surveying the crowd: "Hitler was more popular than Warsaw than I am in Miami." But where past routines have focused mainly on almost disgustingly detailed self-deprecation, Norton's repertoire has expanded, to funny, inclusive effect, to further observations on world events at large. Of course there was a bit on the recent US Airways crash in New York, the inauguration, and even, reaching back a little, Eliot Spitzer.
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Make it up to Norton for the last bum turnout by showing up at the Palm Beach Improv this weekend on Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets run $25. Get them at palmbeachimprov.com.
Fri., June 19; Sat., June 20, 2009