1812 Productions to Present AN EVENING WITHOUT THE CATSKILLS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF JEWISH HUMOR, 3/10-11
Gather your minyan, 1812 Productions brings the Catskills to Philadelphia for two shows only. An Evening Without the Catskills: A Brief History of Jewish Humor spans more than a century of Jewish humor with a script curated and written by 1812's Artistic Director, Jennifer Childs, and performances from Ms. Childs, Karen Getz, David Ingram, and Thomas E. Shotkin.
Jennifer Childs takes the podium as the evening's tour guide, beginning, appropriately enough, "In the beginning...," with arguably the first recorded episode of Jewish humor. The Lord tells Abraham that his wife, Sarah, at the frisky age of 91, will bear him a son. Upon hearing this news, Sarah laughs (Genesis 18:12).
The evening turns to Sholem Aleichem whose stories are the basis for the history-making musical Fiddler on the Roof, the creation of Purim plays, the evolution of Yiddish Theatre, and Jewish immigrants and their impact on the world of Vaudeville.
After Vaudeville's decline, in the years preceding World War II, The Catskills area of Upstate New York became a home to some of the most popular and influential Jewish entertainers of the 20th century. Mel Brooks, Sid Caesar, Henny Youngman, and Shecky Greene all rose to prominence on Catskills stages. An Evening Without The Catskills features work by these comedy luminaries, as well as that of comedians who would take the world of Jewish humor into its next phase-Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart.
An Evening Without The Catskills also looks at the rise of women in the world of Jewish comedy, post-Vaudeville, through The Catskills and beyond, featuring work from comedians like Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Totie Fields, Joan Rivers, and more.
An Evening Without The Catskills is the newest creation in 1812's long-running series of "Evenings Without," celebrating the works of great comedy actors and writers. Past events include An Evening Without Bob Newhart, An Evening Without Steve Martin, An Evening Without Woody Allen, An Evening Without Tom Lehrer, and An Evening of Holiday Shorts by David Sedaris.
An Evening Without The Catskills: A Brief History of Jewish Humor is a special concert production and will play for two performances only, Monday, March 10th at 7:30 and Tuesday, March 11th at 7:30, at Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Street, in Center City. All tickets are $25 and can be purchased at 215-592-9560 or at www.1812productions.org.
1812 Productions was founded in 1997 and is the only professional theater company in the country dedicated to comedy. Their education program, 1812 Outreach, has received multiple nominations and been awarded the Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theatre Education and Community Service. 1812 Productions is the recipient of an honorary citation from the City of Philadelphia for outstanding work and commitment to the Philadelphia arts community. In 2010, they were honored as one of only 10 theaters in the country to receive a National Theatre Company grant from the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. 1812 Productions, while continually on the search for a permanent home, continues to perform at various locations in Philadelphia.