It was so edgeless, in fact, it could be considered round.Ever the cultural chameleon, Rollins has apparently cast asunder his pylon-necked, tattooed, punk rock motherfucker persona of yore and waded hip-deep into strangely adept, B-rated, borscht-belt stand-up comedy of an earthy, used-car salesman variety.
We also hear Rollins' Iggy Pop impressions, May's jabs at her co-host's failure to parallel park before an entire restaurant of onlookers and details from the days when he was so poor that he would eat scraps off strangers' plates at a local Mexican restaurant.
The answer, if I am to go from Rollins’ new spoken-word show, “Smile, You’re Travelling,” now at the Westbeth Theater in Manhattan, is: not much. He was so evilly sardonic it made the whole glitzy event look self-conscious and idiotic, which I thought was wonderful.
So, when I heard the Getz-Gilberto lounge music in the lobby of the Westbeth, I had it figured as the same type of carbolic, balls-to-the-wall Rollins sarcasm and irreverence, but apparently it was sincere.
Rollins, hard up against the specter of turning 40, has discovered a new strategy for his Rollinsness: goofy self-effacement and autobiographical navel-gazing.
It would be disappointing if you had a big love investment in Henry the Darkly Intense Enigma of his earlier perpetrations, but if you had no stake in the |ber Rollins and were, like me, just curious to see where this perennially clever oddball was taking himself, it was good clean fun, rated PG.