Local Wire

Bobby Brown @ Celebrity Theatre

You want depressing? Try this: Bobby Brown on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club. In healthier, happier times, Brown wouldn't have come within 50 feet of VH1, cable television's premier clearinghouse for vanity reality shows. But Brown isn't what he used to be. He's no longer a suave, stealthy playa with the gap-toothed grin that made girls swoon. Today's Bobby Brown is a sad facsimile of his old self, shilling clownishly in front of anyone who'll pay attention. It'd be funny if he weren't so obviously troubled — the man's problems with cocaine (among too many other vices to count) are well documented — and didn't have so much real-life baggage. Brown's ex-wife, starlet turned skeleton Whitney Houston, died of a drug overdose last year; many point to their 1992 nuptials as the beginning of the end for her. Brown has turned plenty of things to shit throughout his career. His ego and recklessness are supposedly to blame for the dissolution of '80s Boston boy band New Edition, and every subsequent attempt at a reunion has fizzled for one reason or another. Musically, though, the man was capable of stopping time. His 1988 album, Don't Be Cruel, was as sublime and kooky as Sign o' the Times — it'd be beautiful if he was able to focus on musical greatness once again.