Wednesday-Thursday, Feb. 22-23 – Kevin Hart
through Thursday, Feb. 23
Hard Rock Live
6050 Universal Blvd.
For someone who mines so much material out of his short stature, comedian Kevin Hart had a larger-than-life year in 2011. When he released his stand-up special, Laugh at My Pain, as a feature film rather than, say, a Comedy Central special, his prospects looked grim. It’s been more than a decade since the last stand-up-based film, The Original Kings of Comedy, made even a dent in the box office, and only a few years since Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show flop seemingly put the final nail in the stand-up feature coffin. Yet Laugh at My Pain grossed $2 million in its limited opening weekend, grossing $20,000 per screen – about three times as much as that weekend’s No. 1 movie, Contagion. Made for only $750,000, Hart’s film went on to gross nearly $8 million through word-of-mouth alone, propelling him straight onto the comedy A-list. If you’ve ever wished you could’ve caught Chris Rock in his Bring the Pain-era top form, here’s your second chance. – Justin Strout