Sunday, October 23, 2011

Relatively Speaking - Trio of Comedies About Jewish Families Opens on Broadway

While we were celebrating Sukkot on Thursday, Relatively Speaking, a trio of one-act comedies about mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, parents and children, mostly Jewish, opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on Broadway. 

Charles Isherwood, of the New York Times, called the play "a reasonably savory tasting platter of comedies."

Although the reviews from major publications were mixed, this production looks like it would be a worthwhile evening spent in the New York Theater district, especially at the reduced prices offered by Theatermania, Playbill, Broadway Box, and other online ticket brokers.

The comedies, written by Ethan Coen, Elaine May, and Woody Allen, and directed by John Turturro, explore the outrageous reality of relatives.

Reviewing the play in Friday's New York Times, Isherwood writes:
Few family members are spared in this enjoyable if lightweight diversion, loosely assembled around the idea that our nearest and dearest can do us wrong in infinitely inventive ways. Husbands and wives, aunts and uncles, stepfathers and even unofficial family members like the rabbi and the therapist take plenty of hits too.
Old-fashioned boulevard comedy — bright, easygoing fare that doesn’t require the deciphering of plummy or crummy British accents — has more or less evaporated from the Broadway marketplace since the heyday of Neil Simon. “Relatively Speaking” brings back this once-popular genre in manageable bite-size portions, provided by starry showbiz names who sometimes seem to be channeling Mr. Simon’s gag-driven style.
These plays are not going to do anything much in the way of reputation burnishing for their three celebrated authors — and certainly none is required — but they are packed with nifty zingers and have been directed by John Turturro with a boisterous flair for socking home the borscht-belt humor.
Meet the 15 talented veteran actors and comedians, including Marlo Thomas, Steve Guttenberg, Julie Kavner, and Richard Libertini, as they talk about their interaction in this show at a press event at Sardi's restaurant in the video below. Enjoy!

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