John Legend and Get Lifted Film Co. present Neal Brennan in a new take on a comedy show: one mic for traditional stand-up, one for one-liners, and one for short confessional monologues. More…
Directed by Drew Barr, '3 Mics' sees Neal Brennan (co-creator of 'Chappelle's Show') alternating between three separate microphones, each giving voice to the various aspects of his life. The first microphone is marked by his sardonic take on race, gender, and contemporary heroes and hypocrites; the second mic showcases his punchy wit with one-liners he’s crafted over the years but couldn’t find a home for; and the third stands for stories of his personal struggles, dealing with everything from depression to relationships.
"Blending heavy emotional drama with irreverent stand-up comedy is no easy task. Brennan has mastered that art in his solo show...He dives deep into issues that include an alcoholic father and his own battle with depression. What makes it so effective is the fact that there is a clarity of tone with blackouts between each set...He also does an excellent job of interspersing the serious stuff with liberal doses of laughs. The piece, under Drew Barr’s tight direction, never feels heavy laden." Full Review
"3 Mics' is quite simply the the most innovative comedy show I’ve seen in years...It’s a sobering transition from the hilarious stand-up, and successfully compelling...'3 Mics' is a must-see that delivers everything often lacking in stand-up." Full Review
"Neal Brennan brings his sardonic biting humor to life in his first theatrical production...He truly opened up in a way we rarely get from celebrities. It was from the heart...If Disneyworld had a ride based on comedy this is what the ride would be like. . . with less cursing. Making stand up into a new format is not an easy task. Neal does just that...'3 Mics' has the potential to bring life to an art form that is in much need of a jump start." Full Review
"The danger of a show like this is that it could end up being embarrassing to watch...This could easily be awkward if the stand-up material is shitty. But no need to worry. It’s good...Brennan himself is the rare personality that is both fastidious and fully candid at all times...The third mic is for one-liners. At first this seems extraneous—he’s basically reading tweets up there! But as the loose narrative goes on you realize: that might just be the key to the whole thing." Full Review
"The concept for Neal Brennan's one-man show admittedly sounds gimmicky...But it somehow works, making the evening considerably more than the sum of its parts. He may need three microphones to do it, but Brennan manages to be wildly funny and deeply moving at the same time...Getting a glimpse of the inner man behind the comic façade adds an unexpected depth to even the more conventional routines." Full Review
"There’s no need to quote any of the jokes he tells...What’s more pertinent is the overall effect of the unusual outing. As he does his three-way process, he’s really sketching in a comic’s existence...With '3 Mics,' Brennan is not just being the life of the party. He’s making a bold gesture. He’s confessing that a comic’s fun very possibly emanates from a much darker place. If the best comedy is comedy based on truth about the human condition, Brennan is up there with the best." Full Review
"'3 Mics' puts all of Brennan before us, which it turns out, is something that goes against his previous self-interest, as he acknowledges he's always looked for personal or professional cover, for someone to hide him from the spotlight...Be sure to pay attention to what he's telling you from that middle mic. That's where the heart of the show is. That's where the heart of any comedian is, really. And Brennan has a good heart." Full Review
"Neal Brennan’s three-cornered show doesn’t quite add up to a play; it’s more like listening to a decent comedy album while eavesdropping on someone’s therapy sessions...He switches from one microphone to another repeatedly, boldly changing the mood in a way that seems as if it should be intrusive but works just fine...The show lacks a through line that would tie the disparate elements together, but the depression segment is full of valuable, heartfelt insights." Full Review
for a previous production "It became clear as Brennan moved from microphone to microphone that the cathartic release that comedy provides is a big reason why he has chosen it as a career. In '3 Mics,' he provided himself and his audience with that catharsis. We can’t recommend '3 Mics' enough to anyone who has a chance to see Neal Brennan’s show anywhere else. We’re not going to guarantee an hour packed with laughs, but it’ll be funny and, perhaps more importantly, it’ll make you feel." Full Review
See it if You're a fan of great standup or Chappelle's Show. Great look at the inner workings of a comic's mind. Relatable and funny.
Don't see it if You are trying to preserve your face from laugh lines and don't want to think of sad clowns.
See it if enjoy non-traditional comedy. This is a moving, autobiographical stand-up. It is a mixture of traditional jokes with an emotional narrative.
Don't see it if you want a traditional narrative/play or don't want heavy & emotional conversations about family & depression.
See it if you want to hear comedy delivered by an expert comic and touching storytelling by a suffering depressive. (Both by the same person, btw.)
Don't see it if you have no sense of humor or pathos... or if you are expecting a plot-driven storyline, chorus girls and expensive sets.
See it if you enjoy self-deprecating humor, quirky one liners and lengthy, amusing/serious stories about human behavior told by an appealing comedian
Don't see it if you like just one style of stand up comedy, don't like lengthy stories about life today, lack awareness of pop culture moments,
See it if you like to laugh and also feel. NB is wittily honest about issues in his life, like his battle with depression and his alcoholic dad.
Don't see it if you want an early night...the show starts late! If you don't like standup, skip 3 Mics (and figure out what's wrong with you?)
See it if you like quick and clever comedy, you'd like to see how a comic thinks and comes to be, you're willing to grapple with some emotional stuff
Don't see it if you don't like one-man shows, you need a plot-driven vehicle, you don't want a frank discussion of mental health issues for your night out
See it if You enjoy multi-faceted comedy. It makes you not only laugh, but tear up as well
Don't see it if You show up 40 minutes late. Although he's a comedian this is not standup it's a one man show and it's more theatrical in nature. No opener
See it if You like the Chappelle's Show, is the easy answer. But it goes deeper than that. I was all about that middle mic. Got me right in the feels.
Don't see it if you're looking for a straight-up comedy routine. Brennan bares himself like all great comics do. Profound truths liberally coated in funny.
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