Review: A Stand Up Guy at B Street Theatre

A Stand Up Guy: Wed 2pm & 6:30pm, Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 5pm & 9pm, Sun 2pm, Tue 6:30pm; Through 10/20; $28-$47; B Street Theatre at the Sofia, 2700 Capitol Ave.; (916) 443-5300;
Rated 5.0

Jack Gallagher is a nice guy, even though being a nice guy doesn’t always get you far in entertainment, or in life. He is an exception. In A Stand Up Guy, his eighth one-man show at B Street Theatre, the comedian explores a hitherto unexamined aspect of his life: his stand-up comedy career, from the beginning.

Written in concert with his son Declan (a New York writer and performer), Gallagher tells his personal story, from that of a 10-year-old boy dreaming of being on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, to—after plenty of ups and downs—where he is today, happily ensconced in Sacramento. (Declan appears in a hilarious brief video demonstrating the various uses of a certain four-letter word.)

Gallagher talks about his insecurities and disappointments but is consistently upbeat, crediting wife Jean Ellen for encouragement and the fortitude to continue.

This show largely is constructed from calendars and notes saved throughout his career. You’d think he was preparing to be nominated to the Supreme Court or something. And that Brett Kavanaugh reference is as close to politics as Gallagher gets.

He doesn’t need to go there because his life observations are funny and touching enough without that added baggage.