Jewish jokes are so plentiful online: who hasn’t been blessed with multiple emails forwarded from friends, or visited the Youtube videos of real-life old Jews telling jokes? Now a fast-paced revue at the Westside Theater—where the beloved Love, Loss, and What I Wore held sway for many seasons-- is unexpectedly fresh. Yes, the familiar tropes: sex before marriage, after, business and money, death, mothers, and kvetching on every foible of life are revived in full force: Do you want a drink? Goes one. No, I don’t want to dull the pain.
Marilyn Sokol, Lenny Wolpe, Todd Susman, Audrey Lynn Weston and Bill Army portray a variety of stock characters, some even young. In a classroom, the teacher asks, who is the most influential man in the world. A hand shoots up. “Jesus Christ.” The kid gets a reward: a lollipop. “I know, it’s Moses,” he reveals to his friend while sucking, “but business is business.” A CNN reporter interviews a man at the Wailing Wall. “For what do you pray,” she asks. “World peace,” he replies. “For how long have you been praying?” “Fifty years.” “How does it feel to pray for so long without an answer?” “Like I am talking to a wall.”
The evening is a non-stop laugh fest. Then again: A doctor offers a man an operation to increase his penis size, $1000/inch. Discussing length with his wife results in the punch line: we’re getting granite countertops. If you find this howler a non sequitor, this show may not work for you.