[ comedy ]
Philly-born comedian Paul F. Tompkins’ life has changed quite a bit since I sat down with him at Little Pete’s for a City Paper cover story back in August 2010. “I get recognized at Little Pete’s way more often,” he says. “Mostly because Little Pete’s framed the cover with me and hung it on the wall, and I stand nearby pointing from the cover to myself.” But also: Tompkins has spent the past two years making a case for himself as the Quite Disputable King of the Comedy Podcast.
It’s not just his own dashingly produced Pod F. Tompkast; seems like wherever two or more Los Angelenos gather around ProTools in the name of comedy, he is there: Doug Loves Movies, Nerdist, Comedy Bang! Bang! (which plays the Troc on Thursday … hmm). And he’s done it by establishing elaborate and unlikely audio improvisational characters — Cake Boss, Werner Herzog, Ice-T — tailor-made for podcasting’s long-format theater of the mind. Tompkins’ two-night run at Plays & Players this weekend has a title, “Crying and Driving,” but he says it’s not a theater piece. “I would hesitate to call it a one-man show, because for me, that conjures a thing that is finished and doesn’t allow for the performer to be in the moment. What I’ll be doing is telling some stories from my life and making them funny. Though I’ve told these stories on stage before, there is always room for spontaneity.”
Fri.-Sat., Aug. 10-11, 8 p.m., $21.69, Plays & Players Theater, 1714 Delancey St., 800-838-3006, paulftompkins.com.