JWT Tells All… in “Family Secrets”

Secrets, especially ones within our own family units are often too juicy to keep entirely to ourselves, and yet too embarrassing to share. From time immemorial, stemming back from even biblical days, dysfunctional family dynamics are the true stuff of theatrical drama. Come celebrate the fascination of secrets revealed, as the renowned Jewish Women’s Theatre presents its premiere of Family Secrets. Curated and produced by Ronda Spinak; directed by Susan Morgenstern and Lisa Cirincione, the show features the talents of Michael Naishtut, Rosie Moss, Niloo, and Debbie Kasper. It’s in people’s nature to be tellers, and these magnificent storytellers weave magic into each vignette told. Knowing that all these stories are true, I love it even more, as the audience goes from laughter to tears in a split second. At show’s start, an original song is quite telling of the upcoming theme: “my dysfunctional family is functioning fine… from alcohol to drugs to gambling to anorexia…” The adage “what happens in families stays in families” was quite apropos in “Ham & Cheese Croissants and a Letter to God,” as Naishtut and Kasper relived writer Alexander Nemser’s life journey, as ‘crypto-Jews,’ at home they’d do one thing and out, quite the opposite. I’m sure this lifestyle and practice will resonate with many an audience member! In the compelling story, “Discovering my Dad,” written by Eve Lederman, Rosie Moss delivers a heart wrenching performance, as she states repeatedly, “I felt there was something strange about my dad…” but when she ultimately, accidentally discovered his guilty pleasure, there were ‘no words.’ Other stories of once taboo subjects, such as teenage pregnancy; criminal activity/fraud ; suicide ; molestation; all come to the surface, as the actors perform in quite a cathartic, therapeutic approach. One standout performance is “The Magic of Authenticity,” written by Judy Carter, performed by Debbie Kasper and Ensemble. In the Q&A following the show, a profound point was made by an audience member: “we all know what it’s like to have family drama – yet each scenario is specific and unique to each family unit, and each premise rings so true.” Another compliment given was “there was never a moment I wished was different!”
The show truly comes alive when presented in the JWT parlor/salon intimate space, where a loving, embracing, captive audience offers the ability for the exchange of secrets- in complete trust, the final ingredient.

To learn more about Family Secrets, visit

About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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