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Steve Martin, a banjo-pickin' man

By by dianna wray/dwray@vicad.com
Aug. 24, 2011 at 3:24 a.m.


IF YOU GO

WHAT: Steve Martin

WHEN: 8 p.m., Friday

WHERE: 226 E. Houston St., San Antonio

COST: $55-$99

WHAT: "Hair: The Tribal Rock Love Musical"

WHEN: 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; 5:30 p.m., Sunday

WHERE: City Theatre, 3823 Airport Blvd. Suite D, Austin

COST: $15 to $40

WHAT: "Hank Williams: Lost Highway"

WHEN: 7:30 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays; 3 p.m., Sundays through Sept. 4.

WHERE: Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway, Houston

COST: $23

WHAT: "Ancient Ukraine - Golden Treasures and Lost Civilizations"

WHEN: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Monday, through Sept. 5.

WHERE: Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston

COST: $12-$18

Funny people are, you know, funny, but Steve Martin is fruit and cake.

OK, I'm willing to admit that statement makes no sense, but Steve Martin is coming to the area, and my humor cowers in the face of one of the giants of comedy.

The Waco native is swinging through his home state while on tour, so you ought to consider shelling out the dough to go take a gander.

Martin is the kind of man I'd make out with anytime because he's just so darn interesting. Not only is the guy one of those comedians funny enough to make banana peels funny again, he's also a fine writer, a good actor and he plays a mean banjo.

I've been a fan of Steve Martin since I was a kid. I cackled over his movies (heck, I even saw that atrocity, "Cheaper by the Dozen"), I read his books ("Shopgirl" was good, "Pleasure of My Company" was ... interesting), and, yep, I listened to his music.

He does lots of things well, but it's his skill with the banjo that has taken him out on the road and bringing him to our neck of the woods. You may only know of Martin's musical prowess from that seminal classic "King Tut," but he's been playing the banjo since the age of 17. The instrument has been a part of his act since Martin first hit it big in the 1970s, but he didn't release an album until 2009.

Most actor/comedian/writer-types will be lousy at some of the things they take a crack at, particularly music, but with Martin, that simply isn't the case.

Unlike say Eddie Murphy - if you didn't know he once took a crack at music making, have a friend pull an Obi Wan and use the Force to forget it - it's for the best, trust me.

Not only can Martin play, he's been playing for years, and yet, resisted the urge to put out an album until he was ready. So, he did. The album is good; he's a great player; and you've got the chance to go see him. I advise doing so.

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