Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, February 8, 2007

25 Questions for a Jewish Mother

In this show, a mix of stand-up comedy and story-telling, Judy Gold tackles the subject of being a Jewish mother. Using her own mother as the oft comedic anchor, she set out to explore other Jewish mothers' experiences, lives, dreams, and regrets. She regales us with tales from her childhood all the way up to today and weaves the story of how a 6' 3" Jewish lesbian mother of two from the upper west side (yes, that's her) was equally tortured and loved by her (albeit stereotypical) mother and how that relationship was in many ways rooted in the culture of other Jewish mothers.

The story was actually more stand-up than I had expected - -but it was all good. A few belly laughs, lots of giggles - and surprisingly poignant and serious at many times. Judy morphed in and out of the voices and characters of many of the mothers she had interviewed for the show - - but none better than her own mother!

Admittedly, the show probably doesn't play well outside of New York (she took a form of it to Seattle to see how the 4 Jews there would like it). It's at the St Luke's Theater off-Broadway, so the audience is limited mostly to Jewish mothers and their friends and a few other "goim" New Yorkers who are Judy fans. And that's just fine - because if you're not one of those you'd probably sit there and wonder what the heck she was talking about all night ("Damn it Judith, it happened again - - Get the plant!).