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An 'appropriate' tribute to Lenny Bruce at the Kravis Center

Ronnie Marmo, 'No one's listening to each other. Everyone's waiting to respond.'
Comedian Lenny Bruce was a comedian in the '50s and '60s and was arrested for verbal obscenities in his act. Free speech and the exchanging of ideas is the topic of a new play coming to the Kravis Center Feb. 18 - 20.Comedian Lenny Bruce was a comedian in the '50s and '60s and was arrested for verbal obscenities in his act. Free speech and the exchanging of ideas is the topic of a new play coming to the Kravis Center Feb. 18 - 20.
Posted at 5:19 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 21:41:10-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Lenny Bruce was a comedian in the '50s and '60s and was arrested for verbal obscenities in his act. Free speech and the exchanging of ideas is the topic of a new play coming to the Kravis Center Feb. 18 - 20 called "I'm not a comedian... I'm Lenny Bruce."

Ronnie Marmo and Joe Mantegna talk to WPTV's T.A. Walker about Lenny Bruce

An 'appropriate' tribute to Lenny Bruce at the Kravis Center

"They were arresting him for words," said Criminal Minds actor Ronnie Marmo, "He was sentenced to four months on Rikers Island just for words."

Lenny Bruce's story of censorship is playing out in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel series on Amazon (season three set to drops on Feb. 18).

"Lenny Bruce, the reasons he is coming up so much is because free speech is under attack, [as] it seems they'll always be on some level, but now more than ever, with cancel culture and free speech," said Marmo.

The play is directed by Joe Mantegna of Godfather III fame, "I think political correctness is almost gone. It's gone full circle and beyond."

"You know, there's some things that obviously you can't say anymore or do or whatever," comedian Gary Valentine told WPTV NewsChannel 5 in Jan. when talking about old sitcoms versus new ones.

"You have great comics who are afraid to do their acts now," said Marmo.

"I'm more of a Lenny Bruce guy," comedian Tim Allen told WPTV in Jan when talking about who influenced him. Allen said he's been handling sensitive topics by being upfront, "I'm more likely to want to poke that than I did. But out of respect, I will tell people as an adult, there's some things I'm going to say that don't mean the same thing to me as they might mean to you."

"I mean, I understand that there's going to be sensitivity about things... ...in terms of how people should be treating each other and relating to each other," said Mantegna.

But because of the social media Mantegna said, "We're at the point now where every little thing gets examined, torn apart... ...I'm afraid they're gonna change the name of the Chicago Cubs because we're, we're offending the bears."

"I think in our society is that no one's listening to each other. Everyone's waiting to respond. So [if I'm] thinking of my next thought, how can I actually be participating in a conversation and potentially a solution," said Marmo.

Performances will be at the Kravis Center next weekend. Tickets start at $45 plus tax and fee.