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GRANDMOTHERFUCKER

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Presented by Michael Kash at Don't Tell Mama, 343 W. 46 St., NYC, June 9-Aug. 28 (Wednesday evenings at 7 pm; also Fri., Aug. 23 at 7 pm; Sun., Aug. 25 at 7 pm; and Wed. Aug. 28 at 9:30 pm).

As the title of this one-woman stand-up show telegraphs straight off, performer-writer Pat Candaras is irreverent and funny.

Her style, her observations, and her delivery are very clever indeed, once the show gets rolling. Unfortunately, the first 10 minutes or so, an Olympian effort to utter the words "fuck" and "shit" as many times as possible seemed to be the easy way out. What is the big deal? Still, a packed house of appreciative fans found hearing an older woman say these words to be as hilarious as life gets. And hey, isn't that what comic performers seek to do? Make people laugh? It worked. They roared.

Once the vocabulary drill is out of the way, Candaras exhibits a keen wit that is way above the reading-the-bathroom-wall level. Her takes on "the authorities" (parents; airline security personnel; her building's "super"); anxiety; the differences between male and female reactions to porn ("Where's the plot?" she asks a boyfriend); her childhood as one of 17 Irish-Catholic siblings; corporate America (What are those men doing during those "important" meetings? "They're fantasizing."); her two marriages; being the mother of adult children; dating as a grown-up; and many other aspects of her life are sharp, down-to-earth, full of surprises and, yes, funny.

Tim Fountain directed the original version, presented at the 2001 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. No doubt much of the delightful result reflects his suggestions, but Candaras' point of view is hers—no secondhand imitations here. In a conversational style, she manages to combine the often male, youth-oriented conventions of stand-up with the outlook of a sassy older woman that the show's title signals.

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