Produced by HuffPost's Local Citizen Reporting Team
As the crowd waited for the comedienne/Celebrity Apprentice/QVC pitchwoman Joan Rivers to take the stage at the Laurie Beechman Theater, a piano player entertained with Cole Porter's "Anything Goes." Judging by the fact that Rivers dropped the F-bomb at least 5 times in the first minutes of her set, the song choice proved to be prescient.
Now in the comedy world for decades, Rivers is determined to keep on top, even at the age of 77. The series of shows she's playing at Beechaman are billed as try-outs for new material. She's nowhere close to some valedictory tour of old favorites.
Rivers plays to an adoring and friendly crowd -- mostly middle aged gay men. She claims they are one of the few groups that she likes to perform for -- mostly because the only jokes that offend them are the ones about Barbara Streisand.
Straight off her infamous Oscar fashion special, the comedienne dished the dirt on celebs of all stripes, including dear old Babs. She was also ready with barbs about lesbians, old people, Chinese, the blind, Jews and countless others.
Her own life wasn't spared the comic assault. On her late husband, who committed suicide: "We were making love, and he took the bag off my head. Jumped right out the window."
She also confirmed that a gentleman friend dropped dead in the middle of lunch at Le Cirque a few weeks ago. She claimed to have liked the dating in a different era: "I used to love it in the old days -- when they couldn't get erections."
In addition to the gig that night, she's lined up comedy shows through the month of March at the Beechman. She also mentioned press appearances on LXTV, a reality show with her daughter Melissa, and plenty of other projects coming down the pipeline.
As she wrapped up, she smiled at the audience and thanked them. They heartily applauded and some even begged her to continue. "It made me happy, to make you happy," she said, with a bow to the crowd. Judging by her schedule and constant push for new material, there is still a lot more happiness to be spread around. Except for celebrities, they better watch out.