There's an instantly recognizable factor that separates everyday comedy from the truly memorable stuff. Certain comic performers just have it, "it" being a kind of speedball of acute intelligence and gonzo bravery that blows right past dullard perceptions and too-easy laughs to arrive at something wholly original. Martin Short has this quality; he almost defines it. That much was apparent with his very first appearances on SCTV years ago, and his subsequent stint on Saturday Night Live only sealed the deal. The man from Hamilton, Ontario, has the innate acting chops to have minted some of the funniest characters (witness Jiminy Glick and Nathan Thurm) in comedy history. You can enjoy the inimitable Short magic live in person tonight at 8 p.m. when he takes the stage of the Touhill Performing Arts Center (One University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-4949 or www.touhill.org). Tickets are $40 to $100.
Sat., Nov. 20, 2010