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Say goodnight, Grace
Say goodnight, Grace

Belle Star

If you're sick of the tired old standup comedians who make you gag with their "what's the deal with... (fill in witty observation here)" jokes or those guys who refuse to utter any word but "fuck," here's a fresh act for you.

Brett Butler, who played Grace Kelly in the ABC television series Grace Under Fire, arrives at Boca Raton's New York Comedy Club this weekend, bringing with her charm, originality, a Southern lady's finesse, and, of course, a sense of humor.

Not that Butler doesn't cuss, but you can also expect some wit and sophistication. The comic combines fast-paced and razor-sharp political jokes ("I love to have fun with Katherine Harris and Janet Reno"), true tales of culture shock ("I wasn't Southern until I left the South"), one-liners ("I had no idea I was of an inferior gender until I turned 40"), and other stories that illustrate life's insanities and paradoxes.


Brett Butler

New York Comedy Club, 8221 Glades Rd., Boca Raton

Friday, September 27, at 9 and 11 p.m. and on Saturday, September 28, at 7, 9, and 11 p.m. There's a $23 cover charge and a two-drink minimum. For more information, call 561-470-6887.

With her unique voice, both physically -- it has a deep, soothing tone -- and figuratively, Butler has captivated comedy audiences since her first performance, when she did some of George Carlin's old skits, like "the hippy-dippy weatherman," in a school pageant in second grade. While she concedes that having tits and a seductive voice has helped her with the captivation part, she also argues that success involves much more. "Too many women comedians these days are too profane and self-deprecating," she says. "I just work really hard on being really funny. I'm original, and I don't participate in man-bashing."

But do look forward to politician-bashing. Butler describes herself as proletarian but literate, "a socialist with a Gold Card." Although she maintains she is no left-wing Bill O'Reilly, Butler is unafraid to present her oft-left-leaning opinions. "Just because the Kennedys had a political dynasty doesn't mean the Bushes have to," she quips.

The club, formerly known as the Boca Nuts Comedy Club, was a joke (meaning it sucked) before it was acquired in January by the New York Comedy Club, which redecorated the place, replaced the cafeteria-like seating, and added some big-name headliners to its schedule, such as Butler, Walt Willey, John Diresta, and Billy Bingo -- although the MCs are still local talent on rotation and are inconsistently funny.

Butler says she thinks Florida is unique because it's a mixture of Good Ol' Boys Land and New York City suburbs. "I enjoy places where I can be as wise and loud as I want to, and I think Boca is going to be one of these places. But I also enjoy the redneck country in Tampa Bay."

We'll let the good ol' boy remark slide, but Boca is definitely not a suburb of New York City -- we all know it's the other way around.


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