|Larry Edwards, Lily Tomlin, me and Michael backstage after Lily’s show at The Smith Center
So, Sunday I had the chance to enjoy the brilliant comedy of Lily Tomlin at the beautiful new Smith Center in Las Vegas as a guest of my friend Kirk Weber, who has known Lily for years.
This was my first trip to the Smith Center since it opened. Not only is it beautiful but it was packed for the Mother’s Day performance by the ever insightful and hilarious Lily Tomlin.
How do you even begin to write about a talent this sharp, this astute, this observant of the human condition? Ms. Tomlin gave us a few glimpses of her iconic characters like “Edith Ann” and “Ernestine” but also didn’t shy away from topical issues like President Obama’s support for gay marriage.
It was interesting to sit in an audience that was clearly split on the subject and not prepared when she brought up the subject of marriage equality: “I’m really ambivalent on the idea of gay marriage – I mean, once you start with gay marriage where do you do next? Monster truck rallies? It’s such a slippery slope… And while I applaud the President’s courage to embrace gay marriage, it may cost him votes. Although, on one hand you have the President – who’s a human being…” And from there she just let the audience fill in the gap.
It was really fun watching a comedic genius at work. Her pace, her body language, even the cut of her eyes told you volumes of where we were going next.
Many people are so comfortable with Ms. Tomlin’s expertise at her own comedy some may have forgotten that she was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in the film “Nashville” in addition to all the other awards (Grammy, Emmy, Tony, NY Film Critics) she has won.
Backstage I was able to catch up to her briefly before she had to catch a flight out. She did mention that she mention that we will be seeing more of her this fall as she will be starring in a new ABC TV series that was just picked up – “Malibu Country” co-starring Reba McEntire.
Just Saturday night Reba tweeted “Okay, for those of you who do not know what “Malibu Country” is, it’s a new sit-com on ABC that I get to act in along with Lily Tomlin!!!”
On ‘Malibu Country,’ Tomlin will star as the mother of Reba’s character, who will be a Nashville mom who abandoned by her musician husband. He takes most of their money, which forces her to relocate to Malibu, Calif. to try and relaunch her career as a singer. Professional aspirations aside, she also has to deal with her responsibilities as a mother, keeping her three kids on the up and up in a new and foreign environment which is more materialistic than they are used to.
From the ABC website: “Her life reads like a country music tune: Her husband cheated on her and
spent all of their money, and after she gets mad, she’s going to get
even. From country music superstar/executive producer Reba McEntire and
executive producer Kevin Abbott (Last Man Standing, My Name Is Earl, Reba) comes a hilarious new comedy about new beginnings that will make your heart sing.”
Look for it this fall.