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Waiting for Guffman

If you're a big fan of "Best In Show", "Spinal Tap" or "A Mighty Wind" you'll love the hilarious, mostly improvised laughs of WAITING FOR GUFFMAN.

Christopher Guest has assembled his usual brilliant cast of comedians and unleashes them as Missouri small town actors trying out for a new musical to celebrate a town's 150th anniversary.

Guest is fall over funny as legendary (in his own mind) former off-off-off Broadway director Corky St. Clair. Investing Corky with every goofy mannerism, overconfident air and fall-over-funny physical move possible, Guest steers the ship brilliantly.

As local buzz builds that New York Theatre critic Guffman will be at opening night to see the musical, it's potentially everyone's big break.

Eugene Levy (American Pie) is local dentist Dr. Allen Pearl, nearsighted, tone deaf and somehow cast as the lead in the musical.

Fred Willard (Anchorman) and Catherine O'Hara (Home Alone) are at their best as husband and wife Ron & Sheila Albertson. Ron's opinion of Sheila's talent is high, but not compared to his estimation of his own gifts. His willingness to throw her under the bus repeatedly delivers many laughs.

Parker Posey is Dairy Queen clerk Libby Mae, whose flirtations are well received by everyone but Corky.

Bob Balaban (Seinfeld), Larry Miller (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Don Lake (A Mighty Wind) all deliver with deadpan characters from the Thespian Mayberry.

The brilliance of the structure, as with all Guest & Company films, is that the skeleton of the story and the traits of their characters are written, with the cast ad libbing and riffing all the dialogue. The only thing written in advance were the lyrics to "Red, White and Blaine", a showstopper by any measure.

Sometimes it feels like you've snuck a camera into the most painfully inept local theatre in the country.

Blaine, Missouri may never be the same.

After watching Dr. Pearl remove his glasses at Corky's request and then get a classic question from Willard, we were on the floor.

60 hours of improvised footage were honed into 90 minutes of gold.

Theatre buffs, actors or lovers of comedy, don't wait any longer. GUFFMAN gets an A.

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