Grier and Foxx won't just do 'Living' at Meyerhoff


Warning: Do not expect a stage version of "In Living Color" at tonight's "In Living Comedy" show at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, says comedian David Alan Grier.

But do expect a level of stand-up comedy "that's definitely for people over 18" -- and thus more daring than the racy Fox Network comedy series, says Mr. Grier, who comprises half the bill of tonight's single performance. Also appearing is Dallas-born comic Jamie Foxx, with whom Mr. Grier co-stars on "In Living Color."

"People should know it's not an evening of 'In Living Color,' it's stand-up comedy," said Mr. Grier in a telephone interview earlier this week.

But he acknowledged he likely will do a few of the characters from the TV series for which he is best known.

"I always do Calhoun Tubbs [the blues singer], and sometimes I do Antoine [of "Men on Film" fame] a little bit," he said.

"I kind of go with the flow in deciding whether an audience is ready for Antoine," Mr. Grier said. "You get to know a city's personality. You know that Philly's really crazy, but you also learn that the craziest audience I've ever seen was in Charlotte, N.C."

So where does Baltimore fit?

"I don't know yet, this is the first time I've performed there," he said, noting his background is not the familiar comedy club odyssey of many comics.

"I only did stand-up for about a year before 'In Living Color.' I'm an actor, I've been up for a Tony," the Detroit native said.

A Shakespearean-trained graduate of the Yale School of Drama, he was nominated for the prestigious stage award in 1981 for "The First," a play about baseball's Jackie Robinson. He's been in "Dreamgirls" and both stage and movie versions of "A Soldier's Play," and he performed in "Richard III" at the New York Shakespeare Festival. He recently co-starred with Eddie Murphy "Boomerang" and has also been seen on the Fox series "Martin."

The current stand-up tour includes stops in Washington, Richmond, Norfolk, Cincinnati and the Miami area.

"I do this for fun. I'm on this hit show and this is easy. The hard stand-up is when you don't have a hit show, and people don't know who you are," he said.

He said he likes the immediate audience feedback of performing live on stage. Although "In Loving Color" tapes in front of an audience, he said, "you have to tell yourself they're not really the audience. Our audience is millions of people out there past the cameras."

What's in the future for "In Living Color," which recently saw the departure of creator Keenen Ivory Wayans?

Mr. Grier said, "I don't know how long I'll do it, I'm just tired," adding he's working on a new stage act.

"In Living Comedy"

Who: Comedians David Alan Grier and Jamie Foxx.

When: 8 o'clock tonight.

Where: Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

Tickets: $22.50 and $19.50.

Call: (410) 481-7328.

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