Now playing at the Colony Theatre in Burbank, this play, written by Steve Solomon, and portrayed by Peter Fogel, is the story of one man, a Jewish-Italian hybrid, as it were. Steve’s only true passion, right from an early age, was stand up comedy and he certainly had a lot of material to draw from his upbringing. Hailing from Long Island, a colony of its own, he credits his dysfunctional family for his much needed years of therapy. In fact, the entire one man show is set in the therapist’s office, as he delves into his past and present psychoses. His mom from Palermo, Sicily and dad of Jewish heritage, are not seen yet heard through the iconic memories of their son. To complicate matters, the Jewish grandparents are a major part of the extended family, all meddling into Steve’s affairs, whether it be in the bedroom(sexual matters); or kitchen (Kosher dietary laws). They proceed to pile on the guilt, ala a heap of chopped liver on rye, so he never seems quite absolved of his “sins,” and finds himself in the predicament of surviving as a product of two disparate worlds. A major discussion ensues on Kosher cooking ; little does he know that his wife wishes to dutifully follow the laws while he’s fed up with the hazerai of the whole process. One could actually say this show is a throwback to the beloved comics of the Borscht Belt era of yesteryear, paying homage to the likes of Buddy Hackett, Jackie Mason and Henny Youngman. Bringing the nostalgic Catskills humor to the California stage, Fogel’s schticks and puns galore fill the dialogue, such as when the therapist’s office receptionist (in voiceover ) states, “you pressed the wrong button on the intercom,” he cleverly retorts, “you’re pushing all my buttons.”
Another running joke is his hard of hearing parents on the telephone, who seem to continually lose their hearing aids, whether by accident or intentional, making matters worse, as they can’t hear (or choose to listen) to what he’s saying. This pushes Steve even further into therapy, as he states, “make that a double” (session).
As the show’s publicity tag line quite accurately reads, “one part lasagna, one part kreplach, and two parts Prozac, this show is a laugh a minute must see.
through June 25
the Colony Theatre 555 N Third St Burbank
855- 4487469. www. playhouseinfo.com