Allan Havey and Dana Eagle perform at Tahoe’s Improv (opinion)
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Allan Havey returns to Tahoe for the first time in ages — it’s getting harder to get him up here because of his demanding schedule. He’ll perform this week at the Improv at Harveys with Dana Eagle.
Allan has become a regular fixture in these parts because folks in the High Sierra can hear him on my morning radio show every Monday for our movie segment, “Howiewood & Haveywood.” Listen on Howie’s Morning Rush KRLT 93.9, The Lake.
Well, truth be known, Allan is on most Mondays — when he’s not shooting a movie on the big screen, the small screen or doing a series online. Havey’s career has been a renaissance of sorts, but his comedy is his foundation. Regardless of his acting career, Havey always seems to make time to do comedy (which I believe helps his acting chops). Some of those chops have gotten Havey on the final two seasons of AMC’s “Mad Men” (where he played Lou Avery) and numerous other television shows. A sampling of his television work includes Louis C.K.‘s groundbreaking show, “Louie,” Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on HBO, “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” “Seinfeld,” Comedy Central, NBC’s “The Office” and appearances on Ashton Kutcher’s reality-based television show, “Punk’d.”
Havey has been all over the big screen, appearing in the latest Coen Bothers movie, “Hail, Caesar!,” where he plays a Protestant clergyman giving advice to Josh Brolin’s character on morality. Other movies include “Hancock,” starring Will Smith, “The Informant!” with Matt Damon, “Internal Affairs” with Richard Gere and Andy Garcia, “Checking Out” with Jeff Daniels, “Rounders” (again with Matt Damon), “Wild Things Part 2: The Glades” with Isaiah Washington, and “Pilot.”
Allan is also an author, having penned a chapter for “The Comedy Film Nerds Guide to Movies.” The book contains different chapters written by comedians about specific genres of films, and Havey’s genre includes his favorite war pictures. Speaking of which, Allan has performed numerous times overseas entertaining our military in the Middle East.
Dana Eagle is by far one of my favorite neurotic comics performing today (and trust me there are quite a few out there).
She usually opens her show with, “Hi, my name is Dana Eagle and I’m a gay, bipolar Jew with a lazy eye.”
Last year, Eagle added “lazy cancer” to the list “to go with my lazy eye.
“It’s a type of lymphoma that’s 90-percent curable,” Eagle said. “The doctor said it was probably in my system for a long time. I had to ask, ‘Which part? The lazy or the cancer?’”
She talked about it briefly on my podcast a year ago when she was booked up here as part of the Gay and Lesbian Ski Week. The country got to know when she did very well on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” two seasons back. My favorite line from that show was when her doctor asked, “So, what do you use for protection, Dana?” She uttered, “Girls.” That’s one of the best ways of letting the country know that you’ve come out.
In addition to “Last Comic Standing,” Dana has also appeared on Byron Allen’s “Comics Unleashed,” “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” Comedy Central and on Showtime, where she was commissioned to write and film her own comic interstitials for their premiere channel, ShowNEXT. She completed a pilot for the E! Entertainment Network, shot another television pilot for ABC with Jason Alexander, was the host of Comcast On Demand’s UNConventional and showcased in HBO’s US Comedy Arts Festival for her solo show, “Stones From Glass Houses.” Then she followed that up by appearing in the series, “Mood Disorders: A Light-Hearted Romp Through Crippling Depression.” She was additionally part of the very entertaining comedy troupe, “Three Hysterical Broads Off Their Medication.”
And if that’s not enough, Dana has a new book coming out called “How to Be Depressed: A Guide,” scheduled for release later this year.
One of Dana’s strongest points is her offbeat view of life.
“Studies now show that 80 percent of us suffer from depression and that the other 20 percent of you cause it,” she said.
Her style is a mix of laid-back coolness with a touch of the self-deprecation. Her humor definitely hits the right nerves being popular with college, nightclub, television and concert audiences alike.
As Dana put it, “I used to think I liked myself, but then I realized I was just using me to get to someone else.”
Howie Nave is the MC at the Improv at Harveys. The comedy club is inside Harveys Lake Tahoe. Shows begin at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and tickets are $25 plus fees, except Saturdays. Tickets are $30 on Saturdays. The Improv is dark on Mondays and Tuesdays. Must be 21 or older to attend. More information is available by calling 775-586-6266.