Jews R 2 Much Fun Review – Smoothing Kosher Feathers

Jamie Gallo, Evelyn Rudie, Tara Alexandra Brown, Patrick Censoplano, Chris DeCarlo, and Paul Linke in JEWS R 2 MUCH FUN - Photo by Cydne Moore
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Playwright Jerry Mayer has gifted audiences with yet another laugh-a-minute comedy, JEWS R 2 MUCH FUN. Following a career marked by writing and producing many audience-favorite TV shows like ““M*A*S*H,” “All in the Family,” and “Bewitched,” Mayer hasn’t let the word “retirement” enter his vocabulary. Clearly not one to let age slow him down, Mayer (a nonagenarian from St. Louis) presents his tenth hilarious play at the Santa Monica Playhouse. Penned by Mayer and directed by Chris DeCarlo, the entertaining world premiere of JEWS R 2 MUCH FUN airs on the Santa Monica stage this summer as part of its Jewish Heritage Series. On top of that, 2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Chris DeCarlo’s and Evelyn Rudie’s continuing tenures as co-artistic directors of Santa Monica Playhouse.

Tara Alexandra Brown and Patrick Censoplano – Photo by Cydne Moore

Kathy (Tara Alexandra Brown) and Stanley (Patrick Censoplano) are deeply in love and want to get married. Even though Kathy is Catholic and Stanley is Jewish, it turns out that the problem isn’t really about an interfaith marriage. The problem is Kathy’s father Chris (Paul Linke), whose close childhood friendship with Stanely’s father Marv (Chris DeCarlo) soured – over a teenage romance, to boot – to the extent that Marv became Chris’ hated, sworn enemy for years. Not to be deterred by the bad blood between their pops, the couple devise a plan to circumvent the issue, a plan which Kathy’s mother (Jamie Gallo) and Stanley’s mother (Evelyn Rudie) are in full agreement with and even help to implement. What is the plan? And will the boys come around? You’ll have to see JEWS R 2 MUCH FUN to find out.

Patrick Censoplano and Chris DeCarlo – Photo by Cydne Moore

Director DeCarlo does an excellent job of helming this comedy with some serious undertones, a perfect addition to the Jewish Heritage Series. To quote DeCarlo, “Jerry Mayer’s plays are a joy for a director, a cast, and of course, an audience, touching on issues to which we can all relate – love, romance, marriage, financial woes, parents, infidelity, aging, and friendship. Experiencing a Jerry Mayer play brings us that much closer to the realization that turning the frown upside down is the best way to navigate through life’s most serious issues, big or small.”

Evelyn Rudie, Patrick Censoplano, and Chris DeCarlo – Photo by Cydne Moore

The ensemble cast more than hold up their ends as the star-crossed lovers and the quartet of parents. Mayer’s humor is gentle, and the hilarity often stems from “that’s happened to me too” moments. He never forgets the humanity of his principals – even while poking fun at their often ridiculous behaviors. The production team also holds up their end of the comic doings on stage, including set, lighting, and multimedia designs by James Cooper, costumes by Ashley Hayes, and incidental music by Steve Mayer. The audience will find the play funny, poignant, and clever. JEWS R 2 MUCH FUN is recommended for all audiences. It may also prove a bit educational too – between the chuckles.

Tara Alexandra Brown, Paul Linke, and Jamie Gallo – Photo by Cydne Moore

JEWS ARE 2 MUCH FUN runs through August 27, 2023, with performances at 7 p.m. on Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. on Sundays (no performances on 7/1, 7/2, 7/9, 8 5, and 8/6). The Santa Monica Playhouse is located at 1211 Fourth Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Tickets are $35 (discounts for students, teachers, seniors, veterans, active military, and groups of 8 or more). For information and reservations, call 310-394-9779 or go online.


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