English actor and comedian Russell Brand has described himself “an S&M Willy Wonka,” except that instead of sweetmeats, Brand has surrounded himself with other tasty treats, including heroin, cocaine, and Katy Perry. Flamboyant in his dress, in his public statements, and in his relationships with law enforcement agencies around the world (he was deported from Japan earlier this year because of his arrest record), Brand is a standard-bearer for the punk lifestyle in a post-punk era. Brand’s stand-up comedy is blunt, confessional, outrageous, self-deprecating, sexual, manic, and very smart. Brand does fewer live shows of late, now that he is an international superstar (seen in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him the Greek, and the upcoming Rock of Ages), and that’s one reason why his appearance tonight is such a big deal. It’s also a benefit for the David Lynch Foundation, “to support stress-reducing meditation programs for veterans, inner-city students, and the homeless,” according to the show producers. Brand has been involved with the foundation before, and as a practitioner of transcendental meditation has said, “It’s very easy to get caught up in what you look like or what you want or how you felt yesterday, but transcendental meditation is a reminder that you have access to beauty constantly, and that the important things are accessible to all of us.” Considering the amount of energy he burns on stage, it's no wonder he needs constant breaks from this dimension.
Tue., Nov. 29, 8 p.m., 2011