- Jerry Seinfeld Comedian Larry Miller’s engaging smile and unique brand of humor have made him a popular figure in the entertainment world. Boy, can he act! And sing!
Lucky for the Queens community -- and perhaps for all New Yorkers -- Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadow Park will be featuring “Cocktails with Larry Miller” on Saturday, Feb. 4 , a fun and funny experience that promises to be a crowd-pleaser, and a hit with everyone, especially fans who remember Miller in a variety of cinematic roles.
“This will be my first time performing in Queens, and I’m frankly thrilled it’s with “Cocktails.” I love comedy, acting, writing and music, which is why this show is something I’ll be doing the rest of my life,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s the only thing I’ve ever done that has all these things in it.”
And rumor has it he’ll be playing Moses during the show.
Who can forget Miller in: The Nutty Professor (1996), Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), Necessary Roughness (1991), Pretty Woman (1990), Waiting for Guffman (1996), and The Princess Diaries (2001)?
And you must’ve seen him on The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
“I swear, I have loved every part I’ve had - even the ones that didn’t work out so well. High budget, low budget, in town, on location,” said Miller. “I’ve been on sets all over the U.S. and Canada – and England and India. And, I more or less have a constant smile on my face from the second I hit the set to the last yell of ‘cut!’”
Miller has been a character actor, which he defines as, “Anyone in the movie who's not kissing Renée Zellweger.”
That said, Miller says he loves acting with actor/comedian Fred Willard (Ray’s Father-in-Law on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” among other roles). “He may be my favorite funny guy in America,” he said.
Miller’s main man funny guy is his ”longtime best friend,” Jerry Seinfeld: “Jerry and I met when we were both baby comics, almost 35 years ago. I’d seen him onstage at the Comic Strip (Manhattan), where we were both new comics, and saw him on the crosstown bus, the M17, and walked over and said ‘Hi.’ It was pals at first sight.”
So, what was Miller’s lucky break? “Every performer winds up with, oh, five or six ‘lucky’ breaks, but they never occur on their own, so it’s hard to know where the luck starts,” he said. “I think it was great when Garry Marshall first cast me in ‘Pretty Woman’ (and every one of his movies since, including ‘New Year’s Eve’), but it took a casting woman named Dori Zuckerman to see me at The Improv, in L.A., to bring me to Garry. So where was the luck: when she walked in, or when Garry shook my hand.”
On Hollywood and auditioning, Miller said, “everything's nerve-wracking; you really shouldn't be in show business if you can't stand situations that are nerve-wracking. You just have to learn to push that aside or rip it off and graft it onto your positive, creative energy. I mean, c'mon, I've been in 50 movies and a bunch of TV shows.
“Someone asked recently how many auditions I took, and I said, ‘Boy, you got me - a lot, I guess. 700? 2,700? I don't know.’ You know what, either get some hard bark on you, or find another line,” he added.
Miller was born in Manhattan, lived a few years in Brooklyn, grew up in Valley Stream, Long Island, and shot in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, New Jersey and Connecticut – but says: “In a way, Queens has the most appeal to me of all because so many relatives and so many Sunday evening meals, and so many family parties were there. Working in Queens will be like bringing my best gifts to the best borough of all.”
Where: Queens Theatre, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
When: Sat., Feb. 4th, 5 p.m. & 8 p.m. Tickets are $44. For more information, call the Queens Theatre's Box Office at 718-760-0064
or visit queenstheatre.org.