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Review: OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES Offers an Evening in the Catskills with Very Adult Jokes, Skits, Songs, and Dance

Review: OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES Offers an Evening in the Catskills with Very Adult Jokes, Skits, Songs, and Dance

Philip Roger Roy and Playhouse Productions, Inc. are presenting a limited engagement of the off Broadway hit OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES at the Colony Theatre in Burbank, under the direction of Jeremy Quinn with a cast featuring (in alphabetical order) Julien Ari, Arthur S. Brown, Wendy Hammers, Danielle Kay, and Jeffrey Lesser, who is also the show's musical director. The revue-type production pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present, celebrating the rich tradition of Jewish humor and 'all the rabbis, complaining wives, fed-up husbands, patience-challenged physicians, gossiping ladies, and competitive men' populating it.

And while you don't haveReview: OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES Offers an Evening in the Catskills with Very Adult Jokes, Skits, Songs, and Dance to be Jewish or speak Yiddish to understand the humor, it certainly helps to have been brought up in that culture to grasp the attitude from which some of the greatest comics in the world were born. The humor is suggestive and even raunchy as the 'Old Jews' make fun of themselves as well as followers of every other religion, making this show not for audiences under 21. Said producer Philip Roger Roy, "Think Catskills comedy with jokes, songs, stories, skits, and routines. The humor is reminiscent of the great Jewish comedians from Buddy Hackett and Alan King to Tom Lehrer, and more."

OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES has garnered Review: OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES Offers an Evening in the Catskills with Very Adult Jokes, Skits, Songs, and Dance rave reviews across the country, and I can certainly understand why it's kosher for a Jew to be a ham after watching these five talented and energetic actor/comedians take over the stage. Sets of jokes are broken into categories, with the titles displayed on a large screen at the back of the stage, upon which we also see various settings where jokes are set. Starting with Birth and Childhood, they move through Dating and Courtship, Business and Money, Marriage, Religion, Assimilation, School, Doctors and Retirement, making fun of everyone while the audience roared with laughter.

With two of the cast members being younger than the others, Review: OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES Offers an Evening in the Catskills with Very Adult Jokes, Skits, Songs, and Dance of course the age difference between couples/lovers became part of many jokes and stories. And while I cannot quote or repeat most of the jokes in the show due to their very "adult" and graphic language, I can tell you I will never look at a ketchup bottle in the same way again! Or a woman who sneezes due to pepper up her nose. And if I ever see a Jewish man on a deserted island with just a sheep and dog for company.... nope, I am not giving away the punch line on that one either!

Some personal favorite moments for me included being able to sing along to Allan Sherman's 1963 song "Hello Mudder, Hello Fadder" which recounts the struggle any Jewish boy will have being away from home at camp for the first time, especially since he isn't waited on hand and foot - until his Mother comes for a visit, of course! Review: OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES Offers an Evening in the Catskills with Very Adult Jokes, Skits, Songs, and Dance Yes, there's plenty of Jewish mother jokes in the show! You know, how they all want to find a single guy for their daughter to marry, preferably a doctor or lawyer. Or that if a young man introduces three different women to his mother and asks which one she thinks he just asked to marry him, a Jewish mother would know it was the only one she didn't like. Or do you know the lyrics to "Hanukah in Santa Monica?" Don't worry, they appear on the screen behind Jeffrey Lesser as Nathan, the show's musical director who accompanies the cast on keyboards. Encouraged to sing along, the entire audience certainly went along with the invitation, laughing at all the all-too-true comical lyrics about our local City by the Bay.

There are also several heartwarming stories Review: OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES Offers an Evening in the Catskills with Very Adult Jokes, Skits, Songs, and Dance shared by several cast members, positioned in between more pee and poop jokes than I could count. You see, one thing about Jewish humor you will learn from the show is that there is never a time when humor is not appropriate, no matter the situation. Julien Ari exemplified this as he told Reuben's story about learning of his father's cancer diagnosis, with the two of them breaking down laughing over the phone while sharing old jokes to lighten the mood. No doubt both felt better afterwards since, of course, laughter is the best medicine.

Special kudos go out to Wendy Hammers, Review: OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES Offers an Evening in the Catskills with Very Adult Jokes, Skits, Songs, and Dance a pancreatic cancer survivor who travels the country inspiring women with her message that life is really short, so celebrate it while you can in the body that you are currently in at the age that you are right now. And boy she certainly celebrated the joy of performing with her fellow actors who all seemed to be having the time of their lives onstage, proving it's hard to stop comedy from spreading like wildfire!

Just expect me to break out in giggles if a waiter ever asks me while ordering my dinner, "Yes, roast chicken and your vegetable?" Thanks to Danielle Kay and Arthur S. Brown as Debbi and her much older husband, Morty, for acting out this quick joke to perfection.

OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES, written by Daniel Okrent and Peter Gethers, Review: OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES Offers an Evening in the Catskills with Very Adult Jokes, Skits, Songs, and Dance runs 90 minutes without an intermission, and is performed on Thursday at 3pm and 8pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 3pm and 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm and 7pm through Sunday, June 19 at The Colony Theatre, located at 555 N. Third Street (between Cypress and Magnolia), in Burbank, 91502. Admission prices range from $45-$65 and tickets may be purchased online at www.playhouseinfo.com or by phone at (855) 448-7469. For group sales information, call (888) 264-1788. Ample free onsite parking is available.

So grab your friends and family members and to see this laugh fest and learn why it's always better to Kvell than Kvetch.

Photo credit: Jeremy Quinn



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