Brently Heilbron
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Brently Heilbron

| Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

| INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Comedy Alternative

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“It’s the most important work to come out in the 21st century,” says comedian, musician, and playwright Brently Heilbron. “It’s an amazing example of the death of vaudeville, and it begs to be learned.”

Heilbron, 29, is describing Trapped in the Closet, the 12-part “hip-hopera” of infidelity and intrigue written by beleaguered R&B star R. Kelly. A Dallas native who’s been creating random acts of comedic theater in L.A. since moving here in 2000, Heilbron, a self-described “excitable young man with a few big crappy ideas,” will lead a cast of eight through Kelly’s ongoing opus this Friday night at M Bar. A band of six, including players of tuba, theremin, and washtub bass, will accompany. Heilbron himself will play the ukulele.

“The first rule is, you can’t cut a single word,” Heilbron says of the 42-minute sordid suite, which he decided to stage after receiving a DVD copy last Christmas. “I knew I had to learn it, I knew I had to make it better,” he says with that particularly modern mix of sarcasm and sincerity. So, as is his custom, he booked a room, and then, under deadline pressure, set about creating the show. The premiere performance took place January 24 to a packed house dominated by, in fact, R. Kelly fans. “It was a good, sweaty time,” says Heilbron, who calls the Little Rascals his main theatrical influence, citing their ability to “just put up a clunky show.”

The upcoming performance is also a benefit for PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), which Heilbron praises for its efforts to promote and encourage laws favoring same-sex

marriages. “We’re overdue new civil-rights legislation, and it’s good to give dirty R. Kelly money to a good organization.”

Indeed, despite rapid-fire witticisms, Heilbron has a serious side, including his mission “to make comic shows cool again.” He’s currently raising heart rates with the bimonthly musical improv production The Richard Simmons

Mysteries, also at M Bar. “When music and comedy start to converge, it’s a good thing. And when they become indecipherable, it’s a great thing,” he says. Beside, he adds, “We’re in an era when things are done with gusto for little reason, [like] going into a country and kicking its ass. I’m just following our leaders.”

–Rebecca Epstein

“Trapped in the Closet”: A PFLAG Benefit. M Bar, 1253 Vine St., L.A., (323) 856-0036. Fri. at 10 p.m. $5; reservations recommended. - LA CityBeat


Heilbron is one of the most prolific and inventive comics out there. - Austin Chronicle


Leading the Parade: Brently Heilbron

Reminiscent of Lily Tomlin’s The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe in its dissection of weighty matters, Brently Heilbron’s The Phantom Parade of Love exposes the arrogance of our sociological selves: how we hastily declare the beginning and end of eras. The result? Our fad-driven culture wallows in a gray period where irony is dead. Heilbron accents his soapboxing with a pungent physicality and great asides including imitations of a 19th-century mustached gentleman and ‘80’s comedian Gallagher. “Comedians and showbiz animals were harbingers of things to come. It seems like they’re turning on us,” comments Heilbron. “My favorite satirists are leaving or dying of broken hearts. The animals do offer a prettier philosophy, because the Vegas tigers have turned on their masters! There’s something noxious in the showbiz air that’s poisoning the art.” “Phantom” doesn’t move you romantically (the title refers to a lyric in Sam Cooke’s “Smoke Rings”) but leaves you wondering how to shift the line in life. ---Anthony D'Alessandro
- LA Weekly


PHANTOM PARADE OF LOVE

"FOUR STARS (Highest Rating). It's always a pleasure to stumble across a comedian (unless he's lying on the sidewalk in front of you) who's doing his own thing. Such is the case with the oh-so-funny Brently Heilbron. Some may say 'He's marching to the beat of a different drummer,' while others may say 'Wacka! Wacka! Wacka! The guy's crazy!' Either way, this album is highly recommended." --- Todd David Schwartz, CBS - CBS


Discography

Debut record Phantom Parade of Love is coming out Valentine's Day from Vaudeville Heartthrob Recordings.

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Bio

WRITER/COMEDIAN/SEXY UKULELE MAN

"ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE AND PROLIFIC COMICS ANYWHERE" 
AUSTIN CHRONICLE 
Brently Heilbron started performing in clubs at 14. 
He was voted Best Stand-Up in Austin by the Austin Chronicle and as a comedian and actor, he has opened for Paul McCartney, toured nation wide and was hand-picked by Woody Allen to appear in the Los Angeles Opera production of GIANNI SCHICCHI. He also appeared on the Bravo improvised television series SIGNIFICANT OTHERS as well as FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS on NBC and ABC-Family's THE LYING GAME on ABC Family. His verbatim performance of R. Kelly's entire Trapped in the Closet brought attention from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times among others.


Brently appeared on the inaugural season of Channel 101 in Brently & Mrs. Gould with an octogenarian comedy partner.  His first musical, Hooray For Gregory Peck's Ass, made it into a posthumous biography of the late actor Gregory Peck. Really. He is currently building a puppet emo band called Fragile Rock and wrote the hit live show Fuck It's Hot which chronicles the over-sexed foodie lives of the residents of Austin.  HisDaily Uke blog chronicled a new ukulele song daily for a year.  He resides in Austin, Texas where he teaches standup at the Institution Theater, consumes vast amounts of queso, and plays a very sexy ukulele.