They say that laughter is the best medicine for whatever ails you. This being the case, I heartily suggest you make a trek to Skokie to view Comedian Brad Zimmerman’s one man show “My Son The Waiter- A Jewish Tragedy”. It is a scream! This is a ninety minute, one man show where Zimmerman takes us through a great deal of his life, and takes on the roles of some of the people who influenced his life; mainly his “VERY Jewish mother”! A few weeks ago, I spoke with Zimmerman on a phone interview ( some of you already read this) and knew that when I saw this show, my wife would be one of his characters. Sure enough, when he spoke of one particular lady ordering dinner as he waited to take her “final order”, I was hysterical and looked over to Jane and her daughter, Lauri who were with me- they were laughing as hard as I was.
Zimmerman wrote this one man show back over 10 years ago. It is a true hybrid in the theater world. That is why I have also placed this review at Cabaret. After all, it is a stand-up combo with a sort of play. For those of you who recall Billy Crystal’s one man show “700 Sundays”, you will get a glimpse into this man’s life, as a kid and growing up. We learn of his choices in life and as many people know, the life of an actor is not one of ease. I recall my youth and learning all types of trades and jobs to pay my bills as I went to audition after audition waiting for that big break (the one that never came). Zimmerman takes us down the path that was, and still is, his journey.
Interspersed with his story are jokes and stories and yes, while most of them are very Jewish related, it seems that even the gentiles in the audience were laughing their Tuchas off! In fact, he used a member of the audience as an example of the gentile who laughed at the Jewish jokes. One of his stories was about being hired to work where there were no Jews- what would he do? There are no gentile jokes! He told his Jewish jokes and it worked. As proven by shows such as “Old Jews Telling Jokes”, you do not have to be Jewish to get the jokes!
His delivery is well paced and often, as he walks around the barest of stages, one gets the feeling that he is very alone and that he has chosen a path that is a difficult one, but when one loves what they do and desires to attain a specific goal, one must shoot for the stars. Zimmerman is “Everyman” and wins over the audience quickly. His one man show is filled with laughs for men and women, young and old as well as gentile and Jewish. A few of the jokes are a bit off-color, but nothing to be alarmed at. I will not reveal the stories and jokes, as they are not funny on their own. It is his delivery and facial expressions as well as his body language that make each one work.
Most everyone in the theater community knows about my laugh. I am a loud laugher who never misses a joke. Evidently Brad Zimmerman was made aware of this and at the end of his 90 minutes, did just one more joke, for me! Thank you Brad for that mention and the joke and for taking me away from reality for 91 minutes on a Sunday afternoon! It made my day perfect!
If you want to experience the joy that my family did, you can catch “My Son The Waiter- A Jewish Tragedy” Through August 7th at The North Shore Center for Performing Arts, 9501 N. Skokie Blvd in Skokie with performances as follows:
Fridays 8 p.m.
Saturday 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sundays 2 p.m.
90 minutes no intermission!
Tickets start from $40 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 847-673-6300 or online at www.northshorecenter.org
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “My Son The Waiter- A Jewish Tragedy”
On Wednesday, August 3rd at 7:30 p.m., he will be trying out his next show “My Rise To The Middle” in the same venue. One night only- all seats $35 but if you use code VIP you will save $10. I suggest booking quickly. I know I am!
To see where the tour will continue so you can let your friends and family know, visit www.MySonTheWaiter.com.