One would be hard pressed to find a more honestly titled theater production than “Old Jews Telling Jokes,” an new Off Broadway show that promises to reinvent classic Jewish jokes and perform them on stage. Co-created by the authors Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent and directed by Marc Bruni (“Fanny”), the project is inspired by the Web site oldjewstellingjokes.com which, true to its name, hosts videos of older Jewish raconteurs telling some of their favorite jokes.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Okrent explained how the concept behind the site became a stage production. Mr. Gethers had the notion of an Off Off Broadway show that was a cabaret act. That idea evolved into its current, and more theatrical, form in which Broadway actors will perform the jokes, complete with costumes. “It is a real set and like all good Jewish operations the furniture will have plastic slipcovers,” Mr. Okrent said. “It’s not standup. We’ve taken jokes and turned them into little playlets.”
The show will also feature songs — old and new — and pay tribute to comedy giants of the past and present. Previews are to begin on May 1, with an opening scheduled for May 20 at the Westside Theater. Casting has not been announced.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
"Old Jews Telling Jokes," one of the funniest Jewish humor sites on the internet, is coming to off-Broadway in May. We've been reporting on this venture by Sam Hoffman as it added a CD, DVD, and book to the collection of spinoffs from the website that made its debut in early 2009.
Now some of the funniest jokes told by the senior men and women who were recruited by Sam and his parents are being incorporated into a theatrical comedy
As Adam Kepler wrote in the New York Times:
Okrent, the New York Times Public Editor from 2003 to 2005, is in a good position to bring this show to the Westside Theatre on 43rd Street in New York City. He is one of the joke tellers on the website.
Here is one of the jokes told by Okrent on the Old Jews Telling Jokes website. Enjoy!
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)