Mr. Benny at Clockwise Theatre


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Both the kind and generous Waukegan-raised comic known as Jack Benny and the vain, penny-pinching, violin-playing character he played to such delicious perfection come roaring back to life in Mr. Benny, the acclaimed solo show at Clockwise Theatre in Waukegan, starring Chicago actor Tim Newell. This insightful and entertaining two-act play starts off in Jack Benny's star dressing room at CBS Studios in 1950 on the evening of Benny's television debut. The play traces the iconic star's path from his humble beginnings as Benjamin Kubelsky, the son of Jewish immigrants, to fame and fortune as a comedy pioneer who was one of the best at translating his talents from vaudeville to radio, from radio to the movies, and on to a 15-year run on television. Newell's one-man show nails Benny's perfectly calibrated facial expressions and distinctive sense of timing as he relates anecdotes from the performer's incredible life. The show features a sterling soundtrack of clips from vintage radio and television programs, featuring segments with the recorded voices of Fred Allen, George Burns, Eddie Anderson, Jimmy Durante and even Marilyn Monroe.

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