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Whoopi: Back to Broadway—The 20th Anniversary

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Not even Mike Nichols, directing three different avatars of Whoopi—the street-talking dope fiend Fontaine, the menopausal cracked southern belle Lurleen, and a handicapped woman who needs to prove to herself and the rest of us that she is able enough to fall in love—can save this filmed version of La Goldberg’s solo show from feeling routine, if not a puzzling disappointment. As much as we need someone to talk back to the self-righteous Bushies, Fontaine’s ranting amounts less to reasoned discourse than to a blunt instrument—like an ax to grind. Lurleen’s line of gynecological plumbing jokes seems stuck back in junor high school. Only the handicapped woman falling in love recalls the Whoopi who spoke in so many passionate tongues two decades ago. It’s as if the bad choices she’s made in movie roles has somehow injured her sonar and radar.

HBO
Saturday, April 9, 10 to 11 P.M.


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