Bad Jews: a theatre review by Toni Susskind

May 2, 2016 by Toni Susskind
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Touted as the “The funniest play of the year” by The Washington Post, Bad Jews is a black comedy set in a New York Studio Apartment.

bad jewsThe plot is simple. The night after their grandfather’s funeral, three cousins spend the night together, as the Minyan is the following day.

Very quickly tensions arise, as Daphna and her cousin Liam clash over everything, whilst Jonah, Liam’s brother, attempts to stay out of the fray and fly under the radar.

Daphna, or “Super Jew” as her cousin calls her, is the polar opposite of Liam. She intends to move to Israel, marry her Israeli boyfriend and study the Torah with a great female Rabbi. Liam on the other hand, missed their grandfather’s funeral as he was skiing in Aspen with Melody, his slightly ditzy non-Jewish girlfriend, who unwittingly wades into the ongoing argument about religion, by espousing the opinion that all religion is irrelevant. I really don’t see why any of it matters, you know? Where people come from? People are just people.”

During the play, we see that both Daphna and Liam wants Poppy’s chai necklace, yet for different reasons. She sees it is a symbol of survival during the Holocaust, whilst Liam believes that it is a symbol of hope in modern-day America. Highlighting the contrasting beliefs between old world ideals and new world ones.

Bad Jew is a well written black comedy. Each of the actors give strong performances, often working together to draw attention to specific themes and the difficult decisions that need to be made, when intermarriage, voluntary assimilation and religion intersect in modern-day society. However, I would have appreciated a little less screaming and a bit more subtlety. The characters often came across as caricatures of the typical NY Jew, loud abrasive people, who rarely listen to anyone’s opinion except their own.

Bad Jews

WRITTEN BY JOSHUA HARMON
Produced by Aleksander Vass

Diercted by GAry Abrahams

Alex Theatre

Level 1, 135 Fitzroy STreet St Kilda

85349300

28th April-14th May

 

Rating: 5/10

Comments

One Response to “Bad Jews: a theatre review by Toni Susskind”
  1. Miriam Weinstein says:

    It is absolutely disgusting seeing “Bad Jews” plastered all over Melb

    If this was done by Jew-Haters you would all be screeching your heads off.

    Shame on the producers and the community leadership

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