While British comedian Eddie Izzard is off in France doing his act in French, French comedian Gad Elmaleh is in NYC doing a workshop of his act in English. Actually, Elmaleh is a Moroccan Jew, who lives and works in France. He is sometimes described as the Jerry Seinfeld of France. Elmaleh is also very funny.
Before the show the waitress told us that Elmaleh had instructed the wait staff not walk the floor during his show. And there was to be no filming during the show – even photography was discouraged.
It’s difficult for me to describe a stand-up act other than to say I was laughing the entire time. Elmaleh interacted with the audience, asking names and naming professions based on the name. He tread quite closely to and sometimes crossed the line of ethnically offensive jokes (mostly making fun of his own ethnicity).
There was one guy (Ronnie) sitting near the stage who got a lot of attention from both Elmaleh and the opening comedian. Elmaleh is also a big flirt and he got a note from one of the women he was flirting with, which he read to himself and pocketed. Even though he didn’t read the note aloud there was his expressive face and wonderful miming.
Last night was Elmaleh’s final night at Joe’s Pub. Since he is working on an English act it looks like there will be other opportunities to see him soon. Go. He’s an arena star in France and you’ll get to see him in a much more intimate space in the US.
By Carene Lydia Lopez