note: entire contents copyright 2014 by Richard Pacheco
Trinity Rep’s current production of “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, and I’m in Therapy” written by comedian and writer Steve Solomon is a merry romp as he traverses the family differences he met growing up with two such very ethnic and very different parents. A lot of it tramples on political correctness, thank goodness, and makes you laugh out loud much of the way with a relentless harangue of jokes that refuse to let up. It is not so much a play as a one man stand up comedy routine set in a therapist’s office.
Solomon who wrote it was in another life and physics teacher and school administrator—with a better sense of humor than any school administrators I ever met. He has been writing jokes for decades and performed with people such as George Carlin, Pat Cooper, Kenny Rogers, Dionne Warwick, Connie Stevens, Marvin Hamlisch, Betty Buckley, and Nell Carter. He has also appeared on BBC, CTV, and Comedy Central, and on such programs as America's Funniest People and the television pilot for Boomers. He has also done commercial voice characterizations TV cartoon voices.
Peter J. Fogel who stars as Steve is hilarious. His comic timing is impeccable and his ability to occasionally ad lib with the audience when the opportunity arises is delightful. His ability to handle accents well and consistently is amazing and strong. His impersonations are highly skilled and at times with a bit of and edge to them, but ceaselessly funny. He has a terrific stage presence and is highly likeable.
Fogel is an award-winning comedian, actor, playwright and published author who has performed in the United States, Canada and Australia, for over 25 years. He's either worked or performed on many television programs such as Comic Strip Live, Comedy on the Road, Married With Children, Unhappily Ever After, Chicago Sons (Jason Bateman) and Men Behaving Badly! (Rob Schneider). His other network appearances include some on HBO, NBC MTV, PBS and A&E.
The show runs rampant over a range of topics, all treated with a flip, self assured cockiness that is very funny and at times endearing. It can only surprise and mildly shock when necessary, making it a fun filled romp that makes you embarrassed at times because you are laughing at something that is funny, but not politically correct by topic and attitude.
For example a self described ladies man asks a woman he is interested in “How do you like your eggs in the morning? Fertilized?”
Or at another point he asks his Jewish grandmother while in a sex education class, “What are genitals?” to which she responds, “People who are not Jewish.”
So if you are as bored and offended by the insanity of political correctness as much as I am you will thoroughly enjoy this show. If you are an unfortunate politically correct addict, you will squirm and be uncomfortable, as it should be.
Director Andy Robow keeps the pacing rocketing along and impeccable. He is an award winning actor and director who has performed all over the country.
The show has toured all over the world. The laughter at the matinee was relentless and continual. The audience loved it. It can be raucous and raunchy, but always funny.
It will be presented at Trinity Repertory at the upstairs Elizabeth and Malcolm Chase theater until May 18. For tickets, call the box office at 401-351-4242. Adult ticket prices start at Tickets are $44-$49. For information on group discounts for parties of 20 or more contact Group Sales at 401-351-4242 or online at online at: http://www.trinityrep.com