Monday November 20th 2017

“Old Jews Telling Jokes”

oldjewslogo If one is looking to end their day on a “high note”, to laugh and forget about all the negatives of the day, then I have just the prescription for you. A bowl of chicken soup and a glass of 2 cents plain ( seltzer) or even better a chocolate phosphate and then a trip to The Roayl George Theater on North Halsted for ninety minutes of great, well, maybe not great Jewish Humor in a wonderful little revue  created by Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent, called “Old Jews Telling Jokes'”. Let’s face it, the Jewish population is where a great many of our comedians come from- who better to laugh off the depression and hurt that was caused to them?

While many in the opening night audience were familiar with a lot of the jokes, many very old, and some even older, luckily due to age, they have forgotten the punch lines. The cast of this production which has already been extended through the holidays is sparkling, although only the female performers are of the Jewsih faith, the three men being gentile, but very gentle to their playing the old Jews as they tell stories and jokes. Yes, some of the skits are a bit long in the tooth, but with the great delivery of the lines by Chicago favorites, Gene Weygandt, Alex Goodrich and the incredible Tim Kazurinski ( who sure seems Jewish), young Dara Cameron and the ever young Renee Matthews, it appears Chicago has a winner!

This whole idea/concept came out of people sending in their stories/jokes and from this a book was created and then the off-Broadway production. Yes, the jokes are “Jewish” in nature, but many can easily be told with different names and vocal inflections which would make them fit another ethnicity. But, don’t let the title get to you, it is the fast pacing of the performers, directed by Marc Bruni, that gets you waiting for the next joke, story. My rating for the performers is a definite .Oh, yes, there is some music in the show-composed by Adam Gwon and when you enter the theater, some oldies but goodies that will make you walk down memory lane to your visits to Oakton Manor,South Haven, Brown’s or the catskills!

The theater at The Royal George ( this is the Main stage) is designed for smaller shows and this fits the mold. No matter where you sit, you will be able to see the actors and the video screen that is used to move the stories/skits around. Seeing as this show has already been extended to next year, I am pretty sure that there will be cast changes along the way, so my suggestion is to hurry up and see this cast- the chemistry is delightful and the two younger “Jews” ( as we will call them) Dara and Alex fit to perfection. Again, Wegandt is always a delight to watch, Kazurinski is amazing and Matthews , well I found my self “Kvelling” ( which means to be in heaven with happiness) as I watched her take on the material as if this was written for her. I know that you will walk away with a tear in your eye from all the laughter you will have shared with those around you for 90 minutes ( no intermission) and guess what- you don’t have to be Jewish!Renee Matthews - credit Dan Rest

I suggest, since there is some language and some adult/blue humor, this is not for the kids. When you eneter the theater, your program will appear to be a menu, encased in plastic like the local deli. I thought about this as well- if you go to a Jewsih restuarant/deli on a Sunday morning an dlisten to the groups of men talking at several tables, you will find “Old Jews Telling Jokes”

NEW HOLIDAY PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE AND TICKET INFORMATION: OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES will be performed at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, through Sunday, February 16, 2014, with the following schedule:  Tuesdays – Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 5 & 8pm; and Sundays at 2 & 5pm.   Starting the week of October 7, Wednesday matinees at 2pm will alternate with Tuesday evening performances.  Plus, special holiday performance schedules will be in effect: 
 
Week of Thanksgiving (and Hannukah!): Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7:30pm; Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 2pm; Thursday, Nov. 28, no show; Friday, Nov. 29 at 2 and 7:30pm; Saturday, Nov. 30 at 5 and 8pm; Sunday, Dec. 1 at 2 and 5pm.
Week of Christmas:  Tuesday, Dec. 24, no show; Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 7:30pm; Thursday, Dec. 26 at 2 and 7:30pm; Friday, Dec. 27 at 7:30pm; Saturday, Dec. 28 at 5 and 8pm; Sunday, Dec. 29 at 2 and 5pm.
Week of New Year’sTuesday, Dec. 31* at 5 and 9pm; Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, no show; Thursday, Jan. 2 at 7:30pm; Friday, Jan. 3 at 8pm; Saturday, Jan. 4 at 5 and 8pm; Sunday, Jan. 5 at 2 and 5pm.
Tickets range in price from $49 – $69. * There will be special New Year’s Eve performance pricing. All prices do not include a $1 facility fee.  Tickets for the new block of tickets are now on sale by calling (312) 988-9000; visiting the Royal George Theatre box office, or online at Ticketmaster.com.  Plus, give the gift of humor for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or the holiday of your choice – with OLD JEWS gift certificates available at the Royal George box office.
Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are available by calling Group Theater Tix at 312-423-6612 or visitingwww.grouptheatertix.com.
For more information on OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES in Chicago, visit http://oldjewstellingjokesonstage.com .   Follow OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES on Twitter @OldJewsTweeting or on Facebook.
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “Old Jews Telling Jokes”
Gene Weygandt, Tim Kazurinsky, Alex Goodrich -credit Dan Rest

 

 

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