The Odyssey Theatre in West Los Angeles presents “Bad Jews,” astutely written by Joshua Harmon (whose “Significant Other” is now at the Geffen); and fiercely directed by Dana Resnick. This hilarious yet deeply profound play premiered at New York’s Roundabout Underground Theatre in 2012, with rave reviews right from the start. The play features four talented young actors, all seeking love, longing, and belonging, amidst the mourning of their beloved ‘poppy,’ whose treasured chai keepsake is now up for grabs. There’s Jonah (Austin Rogers), who finds himself as the diplomatic peacemaker between feuding cousins Daphna (Jeanette Deutsch) and Liam (Noah James). Liam’s girlfriend (Lila Hood) watches in bewilderment as the family members tear each other apart while also learning and gleaning gems of dialogue from each other. Each character is continually being brought down and challenged by the crushing reality of fate and differing beliefs. The mysterious question of who is most deserving of the family heirloom unravels before the audience with practically bated breath.
The play is replete with poetic, dynamic dialogue; the plot consumed by each of these actors, in need of belonging and legacy. The intimate talks between each actor/actress brings out a wide range of emotions and depth of character. “Bad Jews” is an amusing, amazing journey, clearly written from the heart and soul of Joshua Harmon. Another fine example of the great work and gems presented at the Odyssey. The play definitely comes from a place of fun and love and art.
Through June 17
Odyssey Theatre 2055 s. Sepulveda