New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley

From 13 critic and 17 member reviews
Members say: Clever, Entertaining, Disappointing, Funny, Quirky

About the show

North Coast Repertory Theatre presents Jake Broder's show about Lord Buckley, one of the most influential comedians of the 20th century.  More…

Following runs in London and Los Angeles, Jake Broder returns to NYC with his salute to counterculture icon Lord Buckley. The largely forgotten comedian of the 1940s and '50s reportedly inspired many entertainers including Robin Williams, Johnny Depp, Whoopi Goldberg, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, and Bob Dylan. In 'His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley,' Broder and his jazz trio recreate a Buckley performance in a swirling mix of comedy, bebop, and cabaret.


"Superbly directed by David Ellenstein...Lanahan has a fine voice, and croons with Broder, whose vocals are equally surprising and excellent...Throughout, Broder is a musical virtuoso attuned to the rhythms of jazz...'His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley' is at once ingenious and sterling in its innovative approach to dynamic musical theater, using echoes of the past to translate universal themes into the present." Full Review


"An exhilarating recreation of the 1950s cult performer’s act...Broder's performance is a series of enthralling, fast-paced, and animated recitations of Buckley’s routines as well as superb jazz singing...His script fuses the 1950s set pieces with anachronistic topical references, achieving the fantasy that Buckley exists in the present...Director David Ellenstein supremely blends all of the spoken, musical and technical elements into a briskly paced production with creative flourishes." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"Mr. Broder’s delicious, 90-minute, two-set foray to those depths is special indeed and a must-see event…Mr. Broder delivers an unbridled, full-bore fusillade against racism, sexism, xenophobia and all things president-electoral...Mr. Broder’s honesty and authentic performance offer true insights into the human condition and the state of the nation in the present. He is engaging, informed, and understands the role of comedy in effecting significant change." Full Review


"Liberal, contemporary political statements are cleverly embedded in the dialogue...Broder's portrayal of Lord Buckley showcases his creativity and wonderful comedic timing. Michael Lanahan is ideal as the the Hip News Man…The excellent musicianship of the jazz trio makes the pacing of the show lively and fascinating…See this zany, yet incredibly relevant show while it is on the New York City stage. It is an outstanding piece of theater for the holiday season." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"You simply mustn’t miss 'His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley' and the man who stands in for the legend, one Jake Broder...If you dig classic licks and linguistic tricks, spend two out-of-this-world hours with Jake Broder and company...Broder keeps his performance humming. It looks like no easy feat reciting all that purple-tinted prose, but he does so without a stumble...He takes the original Buckley’s work and runs with it." Full Review

Front Row Center

"Broder is doing the world a great service by recreating Buckley’s unique political humor for contemporary times. The message of love, peace, joy, tolerance, respect, sharing, is particularly appropriate for Christmas time. But it is not corny at all. It is delivered with swing and hipsemantics, and comes at you sideways, hitting you upside the head…There is so much that is funny and poignant and profound in this show…I loved this show and may even go again." Full Review

Plays to See

"A wild, charming, make-your-head-spin work that lets you into the erudite, frenetic, funny world of, well, Lord Buckley...The language is delicious be-bop hip...The band is quirky and certainly a character in the piece. The music is worthy of a show of its own. This is an amazing, current-events-meets-history piece given to us by a one-of-a-kind man who is wry, funny, angry and who invites us all into his wildly individual club." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"It’s funny, in a gallows humor kind of way. Missing, however, is any sense of Lord Buckley himself...Audience members who know little-to-nothing about the Good Lord B will be forced to take a trip to Wikipedia…It’s a tragic story. And although Broder does a terrific job of imagining Lord Buckley’s reaction to the foibles and frustrations of 21st century life, I wish some elements of Buckley's personal history had been woven into the narrative he delivers." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“I went to 'His Royal Hipness' hoping to get hip to his groove, but the show didn't give me the solid I was hoping for. His material, at least as contemporized by Broder, is leaden, and the hipster lingo of half a century ago, with which the show's obsessed, seems as dated as stereos and old LP comedy records...Throughout the show, the most obvious target is...the president-elect...Buckley may be hip but he's not Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, Jon Stewart, or Seth Meyers.” Full Review

The New York Times

"For more than 10 years now, Jake Broder has been on a quixotic mission to preserve the memory of Lord Buckley...Mr. Broder, holding a cigarette that may or may not be wacky tobacky, throws himself into the routines. But the novelty of Buckley’s lingo grows thin quickly, culminating in a particularly dull bit...At this point Buckley, who died in 1960, is more interesting than his material. Mr. Broder might consider redirecting his passion into a biographical play." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Doomed to mediocrity...Its shock value and originality are virtually invisible today...But director David Ellenstein and writer/performer Jake Broder give it their all...Broder’s script is, for no apparent reason, set 'Now' and includes contemporary political barbs, most aimed at Donald Trump. If you’re going to travel back in time to relive a cultural moment, it seems counterintuitive to make current references...Buckley’s act simply doesn’t stand the test of time." Full Review

Paste Magazine

"The premise of Lord Buckley’s act is a kind of grotesque masterclass in cultural appropriation...Broder is clearly a Buckley superfan who believes that what these dark times need is His Royal Hipness’ message of love and un-squareness. I can see where he’s coming from...But that does not excuse the fact that a largely homogeneous audience is applauding an all-white cast in what is essentially an act of minstrelsy...A tone-deaf and incredibly uncomfortable 90 minutes." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"The most racially insensitive production I have seen at a major theatre...Though its actors may not be wearing blackface, 'Lord Buckley' is a minstrel show, a recklessly cartoonish misappropriation of black culture...A sleek mess of jumbled storytelling and retrograde politics...This isn’t a matter of speech-policing or political correctness: Quite simply, 'His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley' is an act of cultural appropriation dressed up in a condescending veneer of reverent nostalgia." Full Review

Intelligent, Masterful, Relevant, Brilliant, Good fun

See it if you enjoy a cozy night club setting, want to listen to a master story teller & his hip news man, accompanied by fantastic musicians.

Don't see it if don't have the energy to pay attention as the stories are intertwined with history and politics; or prefer a regular audience setting.

Also The opening music was superb. It did take a few minutes to catch on to... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Thought-provoking

See it if If you like humor, jazz, hipness, coolness with a great message!

Don't see it if If you want classic theater in a regular theater setting.

Clever, Ambitious, Quirky

See it if Really great jazz music and a hipster transported from another era - both cool and funny. Smart comic relief to the November doldrums!

Don't see it if You don't like humor that is thought-provoking, with wit.

Clever, Funny, Great music, Quirky, Absorbing

See it if you want to experience an engaging, high energy, topical, cabaret style performance; great jazz/beebop from a wonderful trio of musicians.

Don't see it if you don't like Lord Buckley; satirical, non-fiction, political theater touching on past and present; you dislike jazz and intimate settings.

Also It took a little while to warm up to Jake Broder/Lord Buckley's charac... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Funny, Intelligent, Relevant, Great music

See it if you are interested in an iconic comic from the hipster era; enjoy classic jazz/be bop, talented musicians; you appreciate intelligent humor

Don't see it if the hipster era holds no interest for you; you don't like be bop music or hipster slang; you are not interested in Lord Buckley

Clever, Entertaining

See it if you want a different show. Buckley's 'hipster' lingo predates wrappers of today. Some very cleaver and original stuff.

Don't see it if don't like jazz music. Timely political update might not sit well with the Trumpettes.

Dated, Quirky, Indulgent, Good music

See it if Best if you leave after first half ( which I liked)-- rapidly downhill after that. Annoying overuse of supposed hipster rap

Don't see it if Thought it would give any idea of Buckley or his material.

Also Backup band is excellent. Would have preferred if he shut up and they ... Read more Read less

Banal, Disappointing, Insipid

See it if you like jazz and/or are nostalgic about 1940's hipsterdom.

Don't see it if you are looking for a conventional show with story line, character development and an arc.

Overrated, Disappointing, Slow

See it if Don't waste your time. The only good thing about this show is the 3 piece combo band.

Don't see it if Just don't!!!

Boring, Disappointing, Quirky, Slow

See it if You enjoy cabaret style venue, decent jazz trio and well performed one man show with a few laughs

Don't see it if This is a dull show. Interesting idea but doesn't work. Hipster dialogue & Buckley character interesting at 1st but gets boring

Entertaining, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if You want to experience "hip" talking & writing. Jazz trio was talented as was Lord Buckley, but...

Don't see it if You don't like cabaret, and don't relate to an archaic way of talking "jazzy."

Dated, Excruciating, Disconnected

See it if You are a particular fan of Lord Buckley. The musical interludes were good.

Don't see it if The performer is talented but I never felt a connection to him. He was in his own world. He ranted and raved and made me uncomfortable.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Dizzying

See it if you like whip-smart funny dialogue on the tilt, something off the wall - hip history with swinging jazz and want to die laughing!!

Don't see it if If you are a little slow on the uptake, not prepared to be hip or lack a real sense of humor or supported you-know-who!

During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you enjoy an homage to Lordy Buckley, and some relevant thought provoking comic jabs at our current socio-political climate (& great music.)

Don't see it if you do not like political theatre or are confused by a fusion of homage, current political statement, & jazz.

During previews
Banal, Disappointing, Confusing, Fluffy, Overrated

See it if Great music.

Don't see it if Not into so called hipster genre and Political correctness disguised as high camp

During previews
Confusing, Overrated, Ambitious

See it if You'd like to see a legendary 50s hipster time-travel to 2016, and weigh in on Trump and more.

Don't see it if You're not already intrigued, if not fascinated, by the original pre-Billyburg hipster era.

Also Alas, the hip story-telling of Lord Buckley hasn't aged well. In this ... Read more Read less

During previews
Clever, Funny, Edgy

See it if you want to learn a bit about a comedian from yesteryear that influenced many of todays comics. Good music.

Don't see it if You don't like spoken work and the sound of the hipster "Beats"

Cast & Creatives (13)