Steve Martin returns to where it all started

COSTA MESA - Steve Martin, the multi-talented and award-winning actor, comedian, musician and author, will perform a one-night-only engagement Oct. 30 at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa.Martin, his banjo and the Steep Canyon Rangers will perform skits and music from his latest release, "The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo." The performance brings Martin back to Orange County where he was raised and spent his formative years. Martin, a Kennedy Center honoree, enjoyed a quick rise to stardom. During college, he nabbed a job writing for "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," which eventually won him an Emmy Award for writing. He went on to write material for hit shows "Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" and "Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour." When he decided to take his own comedy act on the road, he got the attention of Johnny Carson, who put him on "The Tonight Show" where Martin became a frequent guest. His stints on the show led to his debut on "Saturday Night Live." Around this time, Martin released a series of popular comedy albums that helped launch signature phrases such as, "I am a wild and crazy guy" and "Excuse me!" Martin won Grammy Awards for the albums "Wild and Crazy Guy" and "Let's Get Small." Martin's next stop was the movies. His first big success was "The Jerk." It was the first full-length film he wrote and starred in, and its success opened even more doors for Martin. Over the years, he starred in numerous hit movies including "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," "The Man with Two Brains," "All of Me," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Roxanne," "Planes, Trains & Automobiles," "Parenthood," "LA Story," "Father of the Bride," "Shopgirl," "Bringing Down the House," "The Pink Panther" and "Baby Mama." He is also a literary figure. His play, 'Picasso at the Lapin Agile," premiered at the Steppenwolf Theater and had successful runs in several American cities. He adapted the Carl Sternheim play, "The Underpants," and wrote and produced the thriller, "Traitor." In 2007, he published a memoir, "Born Standing Up." His writings have also appeared in The New Yorker. Martin's most recent Grammy Award was for his collaboration with Earl Scruggs on "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." After playing on the album with Scruggs, Martin began writing a string of new banjo songs, some with lyrics and some as instrumentals which led to "The Crow: New Songs for the Five-Stringed Banjo." An album 45 years in the making, Martin wrote all the songs and it features special vocal appearances by Mary Black, Vince Gill, Tim O'Brien and Dolly Parton, and instrumental guest spots by Earl Scruggs, John McEuen, Stuart Duncan, Jerry Douglas, Pete Wernick and Tony Trischka. "The Crow" is currently No. 1 on Billboard's Top Bluegrass Albums chart where it has held that position for the last 12 weeks. Recently, it was nominated for six International Bluegrass Music Association Awards. Raised in Garden Grove, Martin attended Cal State Long Beach before transferring to UCLA. During his teenage years, he worked at Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm where he gathered bits for his later comedy and music routines. Tickets to see Martin are priced between $43 and $68 and go on sale Sunday. For tickets, visit www.ocpac.org or call (714) 556-2787.

********** Published: August 21, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 18