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Short Doses

The thing about Martin Short is that he’s at his best when he’s teetered on the edge of uncomfortably annoying. Take his role in Clifford: Short did his absolute damndest to make not only Charles Grodin, but you as well, want to smack the living shit out of a 10-year-old boy. Watching that slow, Satan-spawn smile form across his face feels like having someone cut you off in traffic, then pull back alongside your car -- just to see how it made you feel. Then there’s his overweight-yet-hyperactive talk show character Jiminy Glick. Holy shit, is Glick obnoxious – bouncing around a stage set in a fat suit like a baby gorilla; trying to interview guests with stupid amounts of candy in his mouth; speaking in a voice that sounds something like Katherine Hepburn and Vincent Price trying (but failing) to have drunken sex.

On second thought, maybe Glick fell off that edge. And don’t even get started on Ed Grimley. Yet, there’s something charming about Short’s almost too-desperate characters, who try so hard to please us. They’re all sort of theatrical, which is probably why his transition to the stage in last year’s Fame Becomes Me was so successful. His latest tour, A Musical Evening with Martin Short, finds him doing a lot of the same stuff: Singing awkwardly, dancing more-awkwardly, donning a fat suit again, and making you squirm awkwardly. If you’re into that sort of thing (i.e., being mentally abused), then you should definitely check out Short when he visits the Arscht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets run $15 to $65. Call 305-949-6722, or visit
Sun., March 16, 2008

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John Linn

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