Joan Rivers promises no-nonsense comedy Saturday at UPAC (with audio)
If you're looking for a night of nostalgia or some sappy sort of nonsense, stay home.
That’s an order from the nasty, nippy, naughty blonde from Brooklyn.
Joan Rivers, the 78-year-old comedian and TV personality, said those who do come out to see her Saturday at the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston will, instead, be treated to her unpredictable, uncensored brand of humor.
“You know, it’ll be all the current stuff. It’ll be all the things that annoy me,” she said of the upcoming UPAC standup gig.
“I can’t wait to go. I love the area. The Eastern seaboard is the best in the world,” she added during a recent phone interview from the Ritz Carlton in Manhattan.
The show starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at UPAC, 601 Broadway in Kingston. Tickets are $40 for members and $45 for non-members. Golden Circle tickets are sold out. Remaining tickets can be purchased at the UPAC Box Office or at the Bardavon Box Office, 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie. Tickets can also be purchased by calling (845) 339-6088 or (845) 473-2072.
This is hardly the first time she has been to the area.
Early in her show business career, she often performed at resorts in the Catskills.
“I started out in the mid-’60s when they were still flourishing,” Rivers said of the resorts in what was the Borscht Belt. “I played at the Swan Lake Hotel and then the bigger ones. It was great.” Continued...
So much has happened since then for the girl who was born Joan Alexandra Molinsky in 1933.
She changed her stage name to Pepper January early on and later to Joan Rivers in the mid-1950s.
By the 1960s and 70s, she was making a name for herself by appearing on TV shows like “Candid Camera,” “The Tonight Show,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Carol Burnett Show” and “Hollywood Squares.”
She had also performed numerous times in Las Vegas and even wrote a TV movie in 1973 called “The Girl Most Likely To,” a dark comedy that starred Stockard Channing.
The 5-foot-2 vegetarian went on to write several best-selling books, including “Having a Baby Can Be a Scream” in 1974 and Men Are Stupid ... And They Like Big Boobs: A Woman’s Guide to Beauty Through Plastic Surgery” in 2008. Her most recent work, “I Hate Everyone ... Starting With Me,” was released this year.
She has also won her share of awards, including an Emmy for “Outstanding Talk Show Host” for “The Joan Rivers Show” in 1990, the same year her name was placed in a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Rivers was nominated for a Tony Award in 1994 for best actress in “Sally Marr ... and Her Escorts.”
Aside from all her on-camera accomplishments, Rivers carved a niche for herself in the beauty industry.
Not only did she launch a cosmetic company called Joan Rivers Beauty 21 years ago, but she also introduced her own line of costume jewelry that is featured regularly on the QVC Shopping Network.
In 2011, she and her daughter premiered their show “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best” on WE TV. The series follows Rivers’ move to California to be closer to her family. While she looks for a home, she temporarily moves in with her daughter. Continued...
She’s also enjoying her role as a co-host on “Fashion Police” on E! Entertainment Television. The program, featuring Rivers and her co-hosts commenting on celebrity fashions, has done remarkably well since it made its debut in 2010.
Rivers said she has a blast doing the show and has some very strong opinions about what constitutes the well-dressed woman. “It’s someone whose clothes fit well,” she said. “I don’t care if it’s a $5 skirt. If it’s got a good hemline and it fits well, that’s what does it.”
Rivers declared that the completion to any look is high-heeled shoes.
“I think heels make a woman look hot and sexy,” she said. “The younger generation has lost that fact.”
Speaking of fashion, expect Rivers to dazzle her UPAC audience Saturday. She said she wouldn’t be caught dead without her William Ivey Long-designed stage outfit.
“I think you should look glitzy on stage. People want to see some sparkle,” Rivers said.
The so-called “Queen of Barbs” said she’ll likely crack some jokes Saturday about how many cosmetic surgery procedures she’s undergone at the hands of Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. Norman Leaf.
When asked how many she’s had, Rivers said it’s so many she’s lost count, though it’s rumored to be somewhere around 734.
Rivers said she doesn’t care if people ridicule her, adding that she has a hunch that those who do are envious because they wish they had the money and guts to fix their imperfections.
“We did a thing on ‘Joan & Melissa,’ and everyone said, ‘Don’t have plastic surgery.’” Continued...
Rivers later told her staff she’d pay if any of them wanted something done.
“Then they all turned around and got something done,” she said. “Anyone who says otherwise is such a liar.”
Rivers said even with all she’s achieved in her career, there’s still more she’d like to do.
“I want to go back to Broadway,” she said, “and I’ve never been in a real movie, doing a real part.”
Rivers said she and her daughter would also like to host a late-night show, and they’ve been getting a lot of offers. In her other life, the one where she’s out of the limelight, Rivers said she likes to chill with her daughter and Cooper, her 12-year-old grandson.
“It’s a split life. When I’m in California, it’s absolute Melissa and Cooper and going out to for ice cream,” she said. “When I’m in New York, it means meeting friends and going to the theater. I just love live theater.”
Rivers takes all her success in stride and considers herself very fortunate to be able to do what she does. One of her secrets, she said, is to live in the moment.
“Right now is the highlight of my career,” she said. “I always felt that way. I’ve always been very happy in the present. I always think the present is great, and I’ve been very lucky that way.”
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