Looking for a show that will make you laugh a lot?
The Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company opens their ninth season with the Emmy Award-winning comedienne, actress and producer Judy Gold in an original piece she co-wrote with Kate Moira Ryan, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother.
Compiled by asking a number of Jewish mothers the same 25 questions, Judy Gold weaves a personal memoir around their responses, The result is enormously entertaining, frequently touching and consistently funny. The show runs through Sunday, Oct. 25 and was reviewed at a preview performance.
Gold has developed quite a following thanks to her acclaimed TV specials for HBO and Comedy Central. She has also guest-starred on a number of TV sit-coms. Comedy is her life and in this particular show her life provides a framework for the comedy. That is what gives the piece its considerable heart.
As funny as the show is, there are many moments that are touchingly real and presented with a sharp sense of comic pacing.
Gold’s years of doing stand-up at top comedy clubs has helped hone her ability to hold an audience in rapt attention for nearly 90 minutes. She opens up about her relationship with her mother, her experiences coming out and her relationship with Wendy, her former partner. She talks about their experiences giving birth to two sons and trying to raise them in modern-day Manhattan.
The stories are so skillfully told that no stage embellishments are called for. In an area not much larger than the stages found in most comedy clubs she spins out her tales and you leave feeling as if you have just gotten to know a really fascinating person.
The performance is razor sharp, having played off Broadway for a year and a half followed by a three-year national tour.
While the show does play up stereotypes, one wonders what the responses would be like if these same questions were posed to non-Jewish mothers. That idea might provide fodder for an entirely different show, but for the time being we can enjoy 25 questions for what it is: a great deal of fun.
25 Questions for a Jewish Mother plays at the Greenwin theatre in the Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St. For tickets, visit www.hgjewishtheatre.com or call 1-855-985-2787.