Thursday, August 22, 2013

Old Jews Telling Jokes ***

(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
If laughter is indeed the best medicine, this comedy revue, which has been running at the Westside Theatre for over a year but is closing next month, will give you a generous dose. At a trim 70 minutes, it's longer than an hour of therapy, much cheaper (especially on TDF), and much more entertaining. The title is a bit misleading -- two of the actors are young and I doubt they are all Jewish -- but who cares? Many of the jokes are old chestnuts, but the affable cast (original cast members Marilyn Sokol and Todd Susman, plus replacements Dara Cameron, Chuck Rea and Steve Vinovich and pianist Jeremy Cohen) deliver them as if they were newly minted. A surprisingly high percentage of them are very funny. The jokes are arranged around various themes and presented at a rapid pace. David Gallo's minimalist set includes an upholstered sectional which, of course, has transparent plastic covers. The videos are stylishly clever. As a bonus, we get a clip of Alan King performing. I feared it would become monotonous, but it moves along so briskly thanks to director Marc Bruni, that I was sorry when it was over.  Alejo Vietti's costumes are a hoot. Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent are credited as the "conceivers."

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