in the Mix

1/23/2013, 8:58 a.m.
Smokey Robinbson on his Up Close and Personal Tour at The Wilbur Theatre, Boston, Wednesday, Jan. 16. The Wilbur Theatre

Broken City…

I so wanted to love this movie for a variety of reasons. First, it’s the solo directorial debut of Allen Hughes (of “Menace II Society” and “Dead Presidents” fame). It’s a crime thriller with a great cast (Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones and the always magnificent Jeffrey Wright), with action and a good premise. “Broken City” is about political corruption and ex-cop Billy Taggart (Walhberg), who is hired by Mayor Nicholas Hostetler, played by Crowe, to look into whether his wife Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is having an affair during his re-election campaign, only to be double-crossed and then framed by the Mayor.

The film tried to have the grit of “Serpico” with the suspense of “Inside Man,” but it didn’t work. The writing and directing didn’t make sense and I was left at times wondering what the characters just said. Jeffrey Wright, who makes every role unique and adds depth, was the only saving grace, and I perked up whenever he was in a scene, but alas, it wasn’t enough to hold “Broken City” together.

Up Close and Personal…

Legendary singer and songwriter Smokey Robinson was in town recently at the Wilbur Theatre as part of his “Up Close and Personal Tour,” and hit the stage impeccably dressed, with a twinkle in his eyes as he smiled to the audience.

Smokey was personable and engaging, telling stories and cracking jokes. He made everyone feel like they were right in his living room and that’s exactly how the format of the show went for the evening. He would pull a card out of a basket that listed a member of the audience’s name on it and that person would be called on by Smokey. He would chat with them for a few minutes and ask them what song they wanted to hear.

It was a night filled with Motown classics like “Being With You,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “Tracks of My Tears,” “Cruisin’” and “The Tears of a Clown.” Audience members couldn’t help but feel like they just experienced something special.

I’m not compromising….

Tracy Morgan opened up his show at Wilbur Theatre talking about not compromising his comedy when he heard that there was a 15-year-old with his parents sitting right up front (that could be dangerous at any comedy show). It was no holds barred as he kicked off with sex, sex and more sex. He did touch upon women being God’s greatest creation, and of course the women cheered.

Morgan did inject a bit of politics into his set when he spoke about the inauguration and one of the best lines of the night was when he said “Politics is nothing but politricks.”

If you’ve never seen Tracy Morgan live, just remember he’s not his character Tracy Jordan from “30 Rock.” As he said when someone in the audience started heckling him, “This ain’t TV. I can hear you.”

Coming Up…

Tonight (Thursday) through Sunday, comedian Russell Peters returns to town with four shows at the Wilbur Theatre.