If you have not seen stand-up comic Rita Rudner at a comedy club near you in a while it is because she has a daily show at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This very funny stand-up comic has more than paid her dues over the years traveling from town to town and comedy club to comedy club. Now, married and with an adopted daughter (the latest must have of female standups), she has made Las Vegas home and her fans must come to her.
The Cabaret Theatre at the New York-New York hotel and casino is okay. The thousand or so seats date back to the first arena style movie theatres and are somewhat comfortable. Doors open an hour before the show and you should be prepared for Rita Rudner's warm-up act: the Beatles. All Beatles all the time. This fascination with the Beatles goes as far as having a John Lennon sounding announcer. Yellow Submarine is played last as the ushers try to get people to clap and sing along. The decidedly older crowd (there were very few people under 40 the night I went) does not really play along.
There is no doubt Rita Rudner is an excellent stand-up comedian and I have always enjoyed seeing her at the Just For Laughs Montreal International Comedy Festival. Unfortunately, I was not engaged by the show. I am still unsure why this was the case. Perhaps I prefer a more club like setting, perhaps I was not in a comedic mood (a very rare thing), or perhaps there was a certain lack of energy from either Rita Rudner that particular night and the crowd's own lack of energy did not lift the show above a good performance. It might have been because the show felt like the jokes and setups have not changed in a while. Who knows?
The audience itself seemed to be having a good time but not a great time (no gales of rolling laughter or anything, just constant laughs after a punch line). Comedienne Rita Rudner, wearing a fancy dress and jewels, opens with a few Las Vegas jokes (a staple of a lot of comics in town) and this is a nice way to warm-up those not familiar with her style -would they be there? Her forte is biographical jokes, relationship humor, and observational jokes about motherhood, men, shopping, and the differences between men and women. Rita Rudner uses the F word a couple of times so unless you are Baptist, Born Again, or sensitive this is no big deal. Overall Rita Rudner's show at the Cabaret Theatre in the New York-New York hotel and Casino is a good show by a veteran stand-up comic.
The one thing that I found really annoying about the theatre where Rita Rudner performs is the occasional rumbling of the roller coaster somewhere overhead you can both hear and feel. You would think this would be an easy problem to solve, wouldn't you?