BWW Review: MY MOTHER'S ITALIAN, MY FATHER'S JEWISH & I'M IN THERAPY ~ Laughs Galore On Familiar Family Dysfunctions
Steve Solomon is one of those talents in the world of comedy that may best be described as an Everyman, possessed of a sharp eye and the keen ability to magnify and lampoon the foibles of family life. How better to accentuate the typical dysfunctions of parent-child relationships than to have them stew in an ethnic melting pot! In that vein, he has created a series of popularized one-man shows built around an alter ego whose mom is Italian and dad is Jewish.
The first edition, distinguished as "one of the longest running one-man shows in Broadway history," is MY MOTHER'S ITALIAN, MY FATHER'S JEWISH & I'M IN THERAPY. (The title itself is worth a few guffaws!)
The show has been regaling audiences for over a decade and its updated version is now on stage at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix, featuring Peter J. Fogel, a comic totally worthy of channeling Solomon's wise cracks and shticks.
Fogel works the room well, has a perfect sense of timing, and does a great job at setting up the stories for the almost predictable punch lines, many of which induce hearty belly laughs and some pseudo-embarrassed groans. After all, and to be fair, much of what Solomon has written has the feel and tone of the borscht belt humor that roared through the Catskills years ago. Family members from both sides of the ethnic aisle are parodies of stereotypes that may not resonate with the more PC-inclined, but, if you're willing to chill and go along for the ride, you can enjoy it all.
Fogel's narrative covers nearly all the bases, from bedroom jokes to underhanded compliments, from the contradictions of airport security measures to the mannerisms of dogs, from love and marriage to divorce and alimony.
Why spoil the punch lines when you can go see them live!
MY MOTHER'S ITALIAN, MY FATHER'S JEWISH & I'M IN THERAPY runs through January 20th in Stage West at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix.
Poster credit to Playhouse Productions Inc.
Herberger Theater Center ~ https://www.herbergertheater.org ~ 222 East Monroe Street, Phoenix, AZ ~ 602-252-8497