Lisa Lampanelli is one of America’s most popular (and edgily hilarious) comedians.
She’s a regular on Howard Stern, a staple on late-night TV, and a 2-time Grammy nominee for “Best Comedy Album.” She was a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice,” and participated in a roast of Donald Trump.
Later this month, though, she’ll do something a lot heavier.
Lampanelli has just written a legit play. It gets its 1st-ever public reading on Saturday, March 19 at the Westport Country Playhouse. The event is a benefit for Bridgeport’s Center for Family Justice.
I’m not as funny as Lampanelli, but you gotta admit that my “a lot heavier” line is good. The play is “Fat Girls, Interrupted.” It focuses on weight, body image and food issues from the perspective of 4 women, with 4 different problems.
“The play will do for weight and food issues what ‘Vagina Monologues’ did for women’s nether regions,” Lampanelli says.
I’m not touching that with a 10-foot pole.
The venue is a coup for the Playhouse. How often does a theater offer a world-premiere reading?
But it’s also a coup for Lampanelli. A Trumbull native who now owns a Fairfield beach house, she calls the Playhouse “a bucket list thing for me. It’s always seemed so classic and iconic.”
The booking came about through her friendship with internationally acclaimed “chick-lit” writer Jane Green, a local resident. (“She’s all the good things about Westport, without the bad,” Lampanelli says.)
Green introduced the stand-up comic to Michael Ross, the theater’s managing director. He loved “Fat Girls.”
“How did I end up, at 54, in this very cool world?” Lampanelli asks.
In part, through a lot of hard work. She began creating a play 6 years ago with Alan Zweibel. He’s written for “Saturday Night Live,” Garry Shandling and Billy Crystal.
Most of “Fat Girls” took shape over the past 2 years, though. It’s insightful, important and poignant — and at times very, very funny.
Speaking of funny: What about that roast of Donald Trump? The narcissistic blowhard now bullying his way to the Republican nomination for president doesn’t seem to be the type of guy to laugh at himself.
“He was one of the best sports ever,” says Lampanelli. She should know: She’s also roasted Chevy Chase, Denis Leary, Pamela Anderson, Jeff Foxworthy, Flavor Flav, William Shatner, David Hasselhoff and Larry the Cable Guy.
“I could say the most crazy, incendiary stuff. I attacked Trump for his hair, his taste in women, the dopey ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ which I was on — and more stuff I can’t say in print.”
That was at New York’s Friars Club. Lisa Lampanelli’s next act opens soon — right here in Westport.
(Tickets are $100 [with a post-reading “Meet the Cast” dessert reception], $50 and $25. To order or for more information, click here or call 203-227-4177.)