So we closed LOST IN YONKERS back on Sunday. On Monday, headed up to New York Theatre Workshop to see an afternoon reading of an even-more improved version of BENEDICTUS, the Motti Lerner script based on his collaboration with Iranian theater artists Mahmood Karimi-Hakak and Torange Yeghiazarian. It was wonderful to meet with Motti over dinner after and talk about his new project, a potential collaboration involving Theater J and one of Israel’s most distinguished flagship institutions. It’s too soon to share more details. Suffice to say, the collaboration lives on as we continue to support this brave and prolific Israeli writer on new works as well as pushing recently produced work onto next productions in New York and beyond.
After returning to DC Tuesday morning for IN DARFUR production meetings and some catch up time with my family, I was back on the bus to New York on Wednesday for the start of rehearsals for Judy Gold’s new show. Judy’s collaborator on 25 QUESTIONS FOR A JEWISH MOTHER, Kate Moira Ryan, has been brought into the collaborative process and has helped to focus, punch, and make more poignant the journey Judy goes on in her latest iteration of MOMMY QUEEREST (now with the additional sub-title: “IT’S JEWDY’S SHOW”) which is the running bit in this very funny frame for Judy’s journey; that she’s consumed with getting her own TV Sitcom so that her two kids can see their lives reflected and finally accepted by mainstream culture. Judy grew up a bit of a misfit, towering over her peers and proverbially out of place and sought refuge and quick emotional fixes in the sitcoms of the 60s and 70s. Her kids seek the same. But is America ready for a gay, feminist, kosher SEINFELD? Why can’t Judy get legally married in the Jew state of New York? Pungent and funny and revealing, the play’s a brand new work of art, wildly different from the version I saw at Joe’s Pub 8 months ago. And so, willy nilly, we’re working on a new play with a great team and it’s a lot of work in a hurry and a very exciting time to be launching a culturally up to the minute new show starring an indomitable talent. And I’m not even talking about Sandra Bernhard right now! It’s JEWDY’S SHOW, damnit (as she’s no doubt punctuate it).
And guess what? I’m heading up again right now, as I type this, for rehearsal #3 now that Kate has sent a top to bottom rewrite after Monday’s excellent rehearsal and feedback session.
* * * And here’s the update: I’ve read the script on Megabus – Laughing Out Loud throughout – Cried twice – show’s in great shape! Great meeting just now (I’m revising this in nyc) with director Amanda Charlton while Judy keeps practicing the piano – couldn’t be happier! So much for the update.) * * *
Tonight I finally see ZERO HOUR in its New York iteration. I’ll be seeing the show with RISE AND FALL OF ANNIE HALL playwright Sam Forman (who has a new play he just sent me, I’ll be reading it as soon as I’m done reading the rewrite of Jewdy!) And herein I share with you video from the opening night of ZERO HOUR, courtesy or our superstar buddy, Steve Schalchlin.
Finally, I share with you a bundle of encomiums from LOST IN YONKERS. Check out this Final Round Up of Wonderful Words from Audience members writing into Becky: