Palsy Becomes a Punchline
Local comedian Josh Blue turns his disability into a laughing matter. Blue, who says he "puts the cerebral in cerebral palsy," uses humor to help audiences overcome preconceived ideas about the disabled. And while he has recently caught the eye of scouts for David Letterman and Ellen DeGeneres, he is concerned they might not be expecting such blue material from a comedian with the condition. "I drop the F-bomb way too much for public television -- I mean, my role model is Chris Rock." A recent winner of the 2004 Bass Ale Next Level Comedy Competition, Blue draws on his own experiences for his material. "At a very young age, I realized that with my disability, I could cry or laugh," he says. "Laughing is a lot more fun, and if I can make a few people laugh, then I say fuck, yeah."
The 25-year-old's warm personality and talent extend beyond the stage. Blue is also an artist, and he's writing an autobiography titled The Palsy Punch; he's an accomplished soccer player, too, and is expected to be invited to play for the U.S. Paralympics Soccer team competing in Greece this fall. "I'm just living my life the way I want to live it, as opposed to the way people think I should live it," says Blue. "Sometimes I look at my life and I don't think it's me, and I say, 'Wow, that guy is really kicking ass.'" Catch Blue at 8 p.m. tonight at the Comedy Works, 1226 15th Street, 303-595-3637. Tickets are $10; go to www.joshblue.com or www.comedyworks.com for more information. -- Kity Ironton
Film benefit sustains a tradition
The Story of the Weeping Camel, the first Mongolian-made feature film to be distributed internationally, touches on themes familiar to the Mongolian landscape: A mother camel rejects her calf, so her nomadic camel-herding owners seek a musician learned in the art of Long Song, an ancient indigenous musical tradition passed down from one master to another. Long Song soothes the camel, who weeps and accepts the newborn. How fitting for the Boulder-based Itgel Foundation, which is raising funds to build a school in Mongolia where the endangered art form will be taught. To that end, the foundation will host From Colorado to Mongolia, a benefit that begins at 7 p.m. tonight with a screening of Weeping Camel at the Starz FilmCenter on the Auraria campus. Afterward, participants will move to Auraria's Emmanuel Gallery for live traditional music performances, authentic Mongolian cuisine, and Mongolian animal exhibits hosted by the Denver Zoo. Performers include morin huur (horse-head violin) player Ariunbold and dancer Mungunuu, both members of the local Mongolian community, which is the largest outside of Ulaanbaatar. For tickets, $35 to $50, call 303-448-9115; for information, go to www.starzfilmcenter.com. -- Susan Froyd
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