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By Chuck Rounds
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Brad Garrett plays intermittent dates at the Danny Gans theatre inside the Mirage Resort & Casino. This is Garrett’s stand-up routine...it is not his character on his current sitcom, "'Til Death," nor his character on "Everybody Loves Raymond." It would be a mistake to confuse the stand-up routine with the television characters...they have nothing to do with each other. Garrett hit the club scene in the late 70’s and made a name for himself on the comedy club circuit. This notoriety helped launch a television career that has served him very well. Garrett’s routine is funny, raw, and replete with his own personality.
Standing at 6'8", Brad Garrett is one of the tallest comedians working the club scene, and his facility with voices has kept him working on animated series and specials between stints on sitcoms. "Everybody Loves Raymond" was his breakthrough role, it eventually become one of TV's top-rated and most beloved show. Due to a built in following from "Raymond," Garrett was able to make a return to series comedy by headlining in the marriage-themed Fox sitcom, "Til Death."
His stand-up routine relies heavily on audience interaction---which turns out to be both a blessing and a curse for Garrett. Most of the time, Garrett seems to be able to handle anything the audience can throw at him and turn it into a brilliant piece of comic business. There are times, though, that Garrett seems to get bogged down with an audience member...during these moments, all of the energy, spark, and pace seem to fall out of the bottom of the room, and the performance hits an unfortunate stop (this only happened a couple of times during the night, the overall impression of the evening was very positive...but this is certainly worth a mention.)
Because Garrett uses so much audience interaction, the performance on a nightly basis will vary widely. There are going to be nights of brilliance and well as nights of struggle. The performance that I saw was a bit inconsistent. He is still, though, a very funny man, and I very much enjoyed seeing the "man" rather than the television characters.
I would have liked to have seen more of his set material. You could immediately tell when he went into these bits because there was an ease that came over him as he was delivering it...this was Garrett at his best.
The Danny Gans Theatre is a great venue for a headlining performer. It is a good size. There is a great relationship between the audience and performer, and it is technically well appointed.
It would be nice to see Brad Garrett perform again when he comes back. I’d like to do a comparison between audiences. It was a fun show.