Comic Jerry Lewis performs in Sarasota

The show-business legend tells stories and jokes and shows rare film clips

January 16, 2014 

Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis is one of those love-him-or-hate-him kind of performers. But there's no denying that he's one of the true legends of American entertainment.

Although he's perhaps most often thought of as the actor in goofy slapstick comedies of the 1950s and '60s, Lewis has scored in dramatic roles (as in Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy"), as a nightclub comic (both with and without Dean Martin), as a Broadway actor (he starred in a revival of "Damn Yankees" in 1994, and then toured the country in it) and as a television host (especially the Muscular Dystrophy telethons, which he hosted for decades). He's also a successful film producer, and he's even been a character in two different series of comic books, sharing pages and adventures with Superman.

He must love performing, because he doesn't need the money, but at age 87 he's still touring the country with his solo show. He'll perform Tuesday at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota.

His current show is free-form and changes every night. He shows seldom-seen clips for some of his best-loved movies, he relates stories from his long career, tells jokes and sometimes answers questions from the audience.

Details: 8 p.m. Jan. 21, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $45-$80 Information: 941-953-3368, www.vanwezel.org.

-- Marty Clear

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