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Guided by Vices

Some comics are about an onstage persona that isn’t far removed from their everyday outlook. Others present unadorned, well-thought-out material that speaks for itself. Then there’s Kathleen Madigan, whose feet are firmly planted in both worlds. She’s not blue collar by any means, but her Midwestern, religious upbringing has infused her act with a homegrown sensibility that incorporates world-weary sarcasm. Unlike any number of other female comics, there’s not an ounce of cutesy or blatantly “endearing” filler. Her biting impressions of family members, pop-culture skewerings, and musings on her beloved vices of drinking and smoking have only become more cutting and refined through the years, so much so that Lewis Black, a kindred spirit in all things outspoken, tapped Madigan as a writer, producer, and performer for his Root of All Evil.

Madigan, the Last Comic Standing vet and current Sirius radio host, performs at Mesa Arts Center.

Fri., Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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