Colin Quinn: The New York Story

I confess: I have a soft spot for those recalcitrant smarty-pants bad boys and girls of comedy who walk the politically correct high wire in combat boots and still manage to win the hearts of their socio-eclectic audiences. These individuals spin the preposterously mundane and/or obvious into humor that incites blushing and guffaws, concurrently. (I write this on the day Jon Stewart exits The Daily Show, so bear with me.)

And these smart, snarky purveyors of humor live and walk among us. Case in point: Colin Quinn, a scruffy, middle-aged representative of the genre whose topic du jour in his latest solo show, Colin Quinn: The New York Story, is Gotham’s melting pot of myriad ethnicities. To this end, he takes us on a mildly sardonic history lesson/wildly funny stand-up act covering NYC’s original settlers, Ellis Island ancestors, and eventually sets up shop in the hoods and niche markets of the here and now.

In a seemingly stream of consciousness delivery - a Quinn trademark – the comic cuts tidbits about stereotypes and bigotry with his own observations on the City’s everyday – and iconic --people, places and things – a list that includes his birth-borough of Brooklyn and a staggering laundry list of nationalities starting with Native Americans and the Dutch who famously bought Manhattan from them for a pittance, on through the Brits, Germans, Irish, Jews, Italians, African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Greeks, and probably a few others I’ve left out due to Quinn’s ability to steer his 75-minute show -- directed by Jerry Seinfeld – not so much to an ending as an abrupt halt. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does leave us wanting more.

The good news is that even though CQ:TNYS only has a few more summer performances at its Cherry Lane Theatre home (it’s closing on August 16th), it’s scheduled to return October 20th for a much more substantial run through January 31st.

Cherry Lane Theater is located at 38 Commerce St. Call 866-811-4111 for more information. For reservations, visit – and to get a sense of just where Quinn’s head is at with this production, pick up a copy of his best-selling book on which the show is based: The Coloring Book (Grand Central Publishing).

About the Author

City Guide Theatre Editor Griffin Miller moved to New York to pursue an acting/writing career in the 1980s after graduating magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, she has written for The New York Times, For the Bride, Hotels, and a number of other publications, mostly in the areas of travel and performance arts. An active member of The New York Travel Writers Association, she is also a playwright and award-winning collage artist. In addition, she sits on the board of The Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Griffin is married to Richard Sandomir, a reporter for The New York Times.

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