Liz Miele: Mind Over Melee
Angry New Yorker doesn't get enough gags across
This article is from 2016.
Liz Miele initially comes across exactly as the straight-talking comedian her straight-outta-Brooklyn background suggests. But the Italian-American soon heads into the taboo-busting territory colonised by Sarah Silverman, ticking off her own observations of racial stereotypes. By the time she gets to material on struggles with her Hasidic landlord, it lacks enough laughs to transform this niche material into something subversive.
The show is pitched as bringing us 'a skewed logic of an angry New Yorker trying to make sense of it all', which offers less with her complaints about the NYC subway and more through her perspectives on travelling around Europe. Things take a more confessional tone when she talks about her own (and her family's) issues with physical and mental health, via relationships with her mother, doctor and therapist.
But Miele, who started doing stand-up as a teenager and was mentored by late US comic George Carlin, does milk some good lines from darker subject matter. So too did Joan Rivers, who reportedly described her own audiences as group therapy. Miele carries this tradition on and says she's been 'making a lot of changes' to herself. But in her act this doesn't translate to enough punchlines.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 28 Aug (not 15), 6.40pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).