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in the Mix

Colette Greenstein
Colette Greenstein has been a contributing arts & entertainment writer for the Banner since 2009. VIEW BIO
in the Mix
Stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan headlined seven recent sold-out shows at The Wilbur. (Photo: Joe Stella)

Hot Pockets …

Stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan’s soft-touch delivery mixed with his everyman persona has helped him rise to the top in the world of comedy. Headlining The Wilbur for seven sold-out shows Gaffigan, in preparation for taping his upcoming special, discussed one of his favorite topics — food. He launched into how kale has risen to “superfood” status, and also turned his brand of hilarity on fried bread and hot dogs. In between, he talked about his family (he has five kids under the age of 9), and the usually not so funny topic of cancer, but with him it’s safe to laugh. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Gaffigan show if he didn’t leave the audience with one of his classic bits “Hot Pockets” and you have to sing it when you say it. That is the only way. Make sure to catch Gaffigan next time he’s in town or when his special airs. You’ll start singing “Hot Pockets” too!

Food Explorer …

The latest restaurant to hit Beacon Street in Brookline is the Italian restaurant Ribelle. Chef Tim Maslow really pushes the boundaries of flavors and food combinations. The restaurant is warm and inviting with great ambience and a huge wooden table in the middle for communal eating. From the descriptions of the food it is a bit challenging to know what the ingredients are in each dish, but we rolled with it on a recent visit. We began with an order of charred kale cooked with peppers and sautéed red quinoa which gave it a nice crunch, followed by this buttery sesame seed bread, with a thin slice of chickpea, laced with a spicy mayo sauce and small lettuce leafs. The combination was quite delicious. For the main course, which was chicken and gemelli home-made pasta dish with bits chestnut added to it along with a bowl of Bolognese. By the time dessert rolled around, we were too stuffed to eat. Ribelle is a bit on the pricy side but the small plates of food are deceptively filling. You will not leave hungry and you don’t need as much as you think. Ribelle in Washington Square is worth the visit.

The Theatre …

The Huntington Theatre Company’s latest production is the bold, sexy, and witty “Venus in Fur.” The two actors, Andrea Syglowski as Vanda and Chris Kipiniak at Thomas, are captivating as they bring their characters to life. This play is based on the Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s somewhat autobiographical novel “Venus im Pelz,” which details his penchant for submissive and erotic behavior. Not knowing anything about this story, it was engaging, funny and a bit naughty. This is for adults only.

The Man of Many Voices …

Stand-up comedian Pablo Francisco recently entertained a full house of fans at The Wilbur with his impressions and stories in what one may call a “comedic jazz riff.” His crazy impressions of Gary Busey, Al Pacino and Arnold Schwarzeneggar had the audience in stitches as he seamlessly went from one character to another and back to himself. The performance was a heady trip but well worth the hour plus stand-up, especially as he delighted the audience with his classic skit “The Little Tortilla Boy” in the voice of Don Francisco a.k.a. the “movie preview” guy.

Coming Up …

“Witness Uganda”, winner of the 2012 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, opens at the Loeb Drama Centre at the American Repertory Theater on Feb. 4 and runs through March 16. For show times and tickets, go to www.americanrepertorytheater.org.

Comedian Godfrey headlines Laugh Boston Feb. 6 to Feb. 8. For show times and tickets, visit www.laughboston.com.

Michele Mitchell’s documentary “Haiti: Where Did the Money Go” screens in the Bright Family Screening Room at the Paramount Theatre on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. For more information and to order tickets, go to www.artsemerson.org.

If you would like me to cover or write about your event, email me at inthemixwithcolette@gmail.com.