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By Chris Willman
Updated March 03, 2008 05:00 AM
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Joan Rivers, Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress (2008)
Credit: Michael Lamont

Joan Rivers clearly didn’t know whether to do a solo show or a fully cast autobiographical play — so she did both. The lame framework of Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress puts her backstage at an awards show, where inept flunkies and an ageist network exec thwart her trip to the red carpet. Happily, she repeatedly abandons this setup to regale us with riveting mini-monologues of showbiz survival. Watching a gay assistant run around in a boa? Painful. Hearing her dish on being shut out by Carson, axed by Fox, widowed by Edgar, and relegated to the ribbon-cutting circuit? Priceless. (310-208-5454) B