May 27, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

“The God of Isaac” At The Pico Playhouse Through November 27:

To use a medical metaphor, The Los Angeles premiere of James Sherman’s comedy “The God of Isaac,” presented by the West Coast Jewish Theatre, could be described as “the operation was successful but the patient died.”

That said, under the sharp direction of Darin Anthony, the cast gives a uniformly professional, entertaining performance, bringing to life a play that does not have a single original idea, thought, or word. What Sherman has written instead is a play filled with recycled Jewish stereotypes spewing jokes that have been around for years.

But to the story: The protagonist, Isaac Adams, wonderfully played by Adam Korson, is a Chicago journalist struggling with his Jewish identity which seems to have been suddenly precipitated by a proposed Nazi march in Skokie, Illinois. Bereft of his ethnic identity, Adam blames it on, who else, but his overbearing mother, played with appropriately strident predictability by Karen Kalensky, who is an audience member and frequently interrupts Isaac’s dialogue to interject the stereotypical Jewish mother’s litany of suffering, accusations, and complaints. This theater device worked for a while, but soon became redundant and intrusive.

Isaac is married to Shelley, the quintessential “Shiksa Goddess,” (non-Jewish, gorgeous blonde who loves sex,) played quite believably by Corryn Cummins. She loves her husband but does not want to give up her lucrative modeling career to have a baby. In her innocence, she cannot quite understand why making a sandwich on white bread with Oscar Mayer salami, using mayonnaise instead of mustard, would offend the sensibility of any respectable Jew. Much to Isaac’s chagrin, Shelley unwittingly uses the expression “I Jewed him down,” which results in an unpleasant argument.

Throughout the play, there is a letter exchange between Adam and an old Orthodox girlfriend played nicely by Jennifer Flaks who, guess what, is unhappily married to a successful lawyer who doesn’t spend enough time with his family, including not attending services on a regular basis.

To round out the cardboard characters, we have the wise old tailor/concentration camp survivor very well played by Peter Van Norden, and Jason Weiss, who effectively plays multiple roles including yes, a representative of the Jewish Defense League (JDL.) Let no familiar stone go unturned.

Sherman threw in a couple of parodies including Marlon Brando’s famous “I could have been a contender,” from “On the Waterfront,” which became a somewhat amusing “I could have been a mensch instead of a Goyisha Kop.” (Translation: I could have been a real person instead of a person with the thinking of a Gentile.) Another send-up was a variation on “The Wizard of Oz” which became a rather sophomoric “The Wizard of Iz.”

An alumnus of Chicago’s The Second City, Sherman obviously has a comic bent but missed a real opportunity to explore, you should pardon the expression, in an original way, an assortment of Jewish subjects including the challenges of mixed marriages, less overt examples of anti-Semitism, and the legacy of the Holocaust. Instead, he perpetuated the basest stereotypical examples of being a Jew. It is a tribute to the director and talented ensemble that the performances transcended the limitations of the script and actually presented an amusing evening of theatre.

Pico Playhouse

10508 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles 90064

Run: Thursdays – Sundays

Through Nov. 27, 2011

Tickets: 323.860.6620

www.westcoastjewishtheatre.org

Follow The Mirror on Twitter: twitter.com/SMMirror

Like The Mirror on Facebook: facebook.com/SMMirror

Related Posts

Film Review: The Northman

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

FILM REVIEWTHE NORTHMANRated R137 MinutesReleased April 22nd If the Vikings of 800-1000 AD had the technology, The Northman is the...

Murray Mednick’s “Three Tables”- Existentialism Meets Theatre of the Absurd

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Murray Mednick’s THREE TABLES is the newest work from the famous poet/playwright who spearheaded New York’s off-off-Broadway movement in the...

Film Review: “The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent”

April 27, 2022

April 27, 2022

FILM REVIEWTHE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENTRated R107 MinutesReleased April 22nd Watching The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, I got...

Santa Monica Auctions Showcasing World Class Fine Art at Bergamot Station Auction event.

April 22, 2022

April 22, 2022

Santa Monica Auctions is hosting its bi-annual live outdoor art auction on May 15th at Bergamot Station Arts Center. See...

Help Recruiting for Good Give Back and Join the Fun at the Sweetest Earth Day Parties Ever

April 20, 2022

April 20, 2022

By Susan Payne  Earth Day is around the corner.  For Carlos Cymerman, founder of Recruiting for Good, that means the...

Santa Monica Bead & Design Show Returns to the Fairmont Miramar!

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

The Santa Monica Bead & Design Show will showcase a fine selection of handcraft and artisan supplies at the Fairmont...

Santa Monica to Host Venice Family Clinic’s Art Walk & Auction Gallery

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

43rd annual Venice Family Clinic Art Walk & Auction re-emerges with an art gallery and NFT auction April 15 –...

Honoring Women’s History Month With ‘Yarn Bomb’ Art Exhibit at Village Green

March 23, 2022

March 23, 2022

Local Palisadian Michelle Villemaire creates the sixth annual ‘Yarn Bomb’ exhibit at Village Green Park. See the exhibit in this...

Local Artists Honored at Legendary Women of Venice Awards

March 22, 2022

March 22, 2022

Venice Art Crawl hosts the 3rd annual Legendary Women of Venice Awards, find out who was honored in this video...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Stairway of the Stars Returns for in-Person Concert

March 16, 2022

March 16, 2022

March 19 concert will feature nearly 900 elementary, middle, and high school students By Sam Catanzaro For the first time...

Young Musicians Take the Stage at John Adams Middle School for the First Time Since March 2020

March 2, 2022

March 2, 2022

Over 150 students in grades 3–8 will be performing across six different large ensembles Nearly two years after the pandemic...

Interview With Aero Theatre’s Gwen Deglise

February 22, 2022

February 22, 2022

American Cinematheque’s Gwen Deglise talks about what the theatre has to offer community By Dolores Quintana The Aero Theatre at...