Lost Nation Theater
by Kathleen Keenan Date: February 14, 2013

Lost Nation Theater's Winterfest 2013

Accident-prone and dangerously funny, Tom Murphy kicks the art of solo-performance into overdrive. With a sold-out run on Broadway and international appearances in over 30 countries, his relentless brand of soul-searching repartee and sublime slapstick captivates audiences and leaves them crying... "uncle". But Tom Murphy has a secret.

The secret? He turned 60 last year!

That's when he started having "The Dream." And that dream (or recurring nightmare!) launched Murphy's new show, Laugh Til You Die, premiering at Lost Nation Theater's Winterfest 2013 February 21-24. Delight in one man's riotous journey through life, love, falling down, and getting back up again. That's Laugh Til You Die. "A sure-fire cure for the blahs." raves THE NEW YORK TIMES about Murphy. Lucky for us, this internationally renowned and Broadway clown calls Vermont home- which means we don't have to travel 300 or more miles to see him!

In "The Dream," Tom is 86 years old. He's out there, in front of an audience, ready to rumble with the marvelously manic moves that have been his stock and trade for nearly 40 years: the slip that lands him flat on his back, the tumble & flip that sets him back upright. But he's 86, and tho' he tries to flail, his body fails. So Tom is on a quest. How can he continue to practice the slapstick physical comedy that he loves even when he's 90? Because he's not going to stop! The immediacy of this humor is too much fun for him to resist. "This transition I am going through, this thing called aging, that is what I'm doing this show about," he said. Laugh Til You Die features many different characters and sketches: an 86- year-old, an evangelical preacher, and a plate-spinner a la the old Ed Sullivan show, as well as a bit of video from Murphy's early shows. Murphy's work is in the same vein as Buster Keaton, Lucille Ball, the Three Stooges, and Charlie Chaplin. He's funny, he's tender, he's silly. He's considered one of the top slapstick comedians alive today (along with the film's Jim Carey). From playing in barns, under big tops, and on Broadway, Tom Murphy keeps us laughing. Laugh Til You Die.

The show is the final installment of Lost Nation Theater's month-long Winterfest - celebrating Vermont's best performing artists - at Montpelier City Hall Arts Center. It runs for 4 performances only Feb 21-24. Tom is a sought-after teacher in Denmark, France, Germany, Austria, and in the U.S. He was a faculty member at the Boston University Theater Institute and spent three years teaching at Ringling Brother's Clown College. As part of his Lost Nation Winterfest weekend, Murphy will be teaching his workshop "The Innate Comedian" on Saturday afternoon, Feb 23 from 2-4pm. Find out what is inherently funny about you! This workshop is great, whether you are just starting out, or a veteran professional. (Pre-registering is recommended.) Laugh tip you Die runs February 21-24, part of Lost Nation Theater's Winterfest, at Montpelier City Hall. Curtain is 7:30pm Thursday-Saturday, and 2pm Sunday. Tickets are $20 ($15 for stu's & sr's; $10 Youth under 12). Tom's workshop is $25. For tickets & information: call 802-229-0492, or visit lostnationtheater.org LNT (39 Main St, Montpelier) offers assisted listening and large print programs. Service dogs are always welcome. Please inform the box office of any special needs when purchasing tickets.

Lost Nation Theater: named One of the Best Regional Theaters in America by NYC Drama League is sponsored by Capitol Copy, City of Montpelier, National Life Group, Eternity Web, Bran P Graphics, WDEV-Radio VT, Vermont Arts Council, Times Argus, The Point-FM, with additional support from Capitol Stationers, The World, and The Northfield Inn. See you at the Theater!

Download a PDF of the press release here.

He's 60 - and still falling down

Rutland Herald & Times Argus
by Jim Lowe Date: February 24, 2013

Tom Murphy is one of those rare entertainers who can perform physical comedy so naturally and comfortably that he is not only impressive, but terribly funny. And that's just what happened Friday at Montpelier's City Hall Arts Center. The Waterbury Center comedian was premiering his latest show, "Laugh 'til You Die," and it had the audience reeling with laughter.

Murphy, who recently turned 60, celebrates in two ways in this ridiculously fun show: First, he imagines himself as elderly, with all his trademark pratfalls becoming clumsier - and funnier; and he spends the rest of the show attempting to prove he still has it, which he does - for the most part.

As proof, the show includes a short video of Murphy performing his expert slapstick and physical comedy on stages around the world. And then, he promptly reenacted much of this physically challenging - and hilarious - material.

One of the most challenging feats was spinning plates on top of poles, as many as five simultaneously, doing pushups between adjusting each plate. After a while, everything goes awry and the plates start falling and breaking. (Whether this was in the script or a real calamity is up for grabs.) The audience couldn't have enjoyed it more.

Audience participation was also part of the show, particularly when, through the "efforts" of the entire audience, Murphy managed to leave four people "levitated" - they didn't quite believe it. It wasn't all physical comedy. Murphy's moments of standup Comedy and ongoing banter were full of wit and jokes, some good, some not, but invariably funny. Some - particularly his cannibal jokes - had people laughing in spite of themselves.

Friday's performance wasn't perfect, but it was expert, and consequently consistently entertaining. Murphy is a first-rate performer who easily keeps an audience's attention - and makes them glad of it.

NEXT SHOW: Saturday, November 22nd at
Goddard Haybarn Theater