Colin Quinn is about to school your ass on Breuklyn. Note the old-timey spelling of the world-famous borough, which also happens to be the title of his new one-man show. Perhaps “Breuklyn” is meant to be a throwback to the old days. Says Quinn, “The show is about how Brooklyn was when I was growing up. Also it’s about ethnicity and how it became an off-limits topic except if you speak in the most generic and amiable bromides.” Tonight, the legendary comic will workshop his latest show appropriately in Brooklyn at oddball bar Over the Eight.
If you’ve been keeping up with Quinn – and seeing as he’s one of the best living comics today, you really should be – you know that this is not his first rodeo. He’s basically been killing it at the one-man show game. His previous two shows, Unconstitutional and Long Story Short, showcased his uncanny ability to take us on an acerbic ride through history while satirizing and explicating our crazy world along the way. He deftly weaves the highbrow with the lowbrow, referencing ancient Greece and Kim Kardashian alike. Critics lauded both shows, while Long Story Short was directed by Jerry Seinfeld and aired on HBO. If you’re too young to remember Quinn’s tenure behind the “Weekend Update” desk on Saturday Night Live, perhaps you recognize him as the coffee-shop owner on that other HBO show Girls.
Quinn was born and raised in Park Slope long before the SUV-sized strollers crowded up the sidewalks and the mommy bloggers tapped away at their laptops from their home offices inside their cozy brownstones. Quinn is old-school Brooklyn. “This is the perfect place to workshop [the show],” he says, “because Williamsburg is hipster but it’s still got Puerto Rican sections and Hasidic Jewish sections and even a block or two left that Italians live [on] so it’s got the old and the new.”
Breuklyn is still a work in progress, says Quinn, and he doesn’t feel like it’s finished. Tonight will be that unique opportunity to see an artist craft his work live. (Only in Brooklyn! – har, har.) Will Breuklyn be coming to HBO any time soon? “I don’t have plans other than to find out what this show can be ultimately,” says Quinn. “If it’s not great then I’ll be depressed no matter where it is, and if it’s great I’ll be satisfied even if I have to put it up on YouTube.”
Colin Quinn workshops his one-man show “Breuklyn” tonight at Over the Eight, located at 594 Union Avenue in Williamsburg. Doors are at 7:30pm; performance begins at 8pm. Admission is free but limited to first come, first served.