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Old Jews Telling Jokes Is Funnier Than...

9 September 2012

Old Jews Telling Jokes Is Funnier Than…

 

     Old Jews Telling Jokes is 90 minutes of laughter if not outright belly laughs then at least sustained chuckles.  There are old jokes told in a new way and new jokes told in an unexpected way. The jokes are not restricted to an ethnic type or religion but are universal in their appeal.

     This show, the creation of Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent, pays homage to the generations of vaudeville comics, some Jews and some not, who made all types of people laugh out-loud.  They have created a show that moves effortlessly through categories of life-events such as sex and marriage, birth and death, balancing the wry with the hilarious.

     Marc Bruni's direction is superb.  He has guided the cast in a beautifully paced show that flows in sync with the reactions of the audience.  The timing and actions of the characters are delivered with sensitivity to and understanding of the material.  And the cast is a wonderful ensemble composed of "old-timers" and young "old-timers."

     Marilyn Sokol is perfection as Bunny, a former copywriter and advertising executive who  became a first-rate stand-up comic.  Marilyn knows how to deliver a line and sell the audience on the schtick around the joke.  And when it comes to schtick Lenny Wolpe as Morty and a Todd Susman as Nathan deliver dead center performances.  The young "old-timers," Audrey Lynn Weston as Debbi and Bill Army as Reuben do a splendid job in bringing the younger element to the "Old Jew" idea.  These are clearly not old Jews but they deliver their lines as seasoned pros.

     Donald Corren provides the piano accompaniment to tie all the sketches together.  The scenic design by David Gallo is ingenious and effective for the very small space available.  All in all, a very satisfying evening of theatre.

© Scott L. Bennett, Jr.  2012

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