BAD JEWS tells the story of a beloved grandfather, Poppy, who has just died. His three grandchildren and one of the boy’s girlfriends, are staying together in a small studio apartment on the upper west side after the funeral. Two of the characters are fighting over a family heirloom, a religious necklace, and the majority of the show is heightened anger, bickering and cattiness.
After five minutes of listening to Daphna, played by Tracee Chimo, you want to pull your hair out. She is annoying and that person you just want to stop talking. She is brilliant at playing the part. Her interactions with her cousin Liam played by Michael Zegen are intense. They argue for at least thirty minutes of the show and hurdle foul words at each other. Jonah played by Philip Ettinger is the passive aggressive brother. He doesn’t want to get in the middle of the family issues and mostly sits back until the very end where he blows his lid. Melody played by Molly Ranson got the audience laughing with her opera song. Truly, a nails on the chalkboard experience.
Set design by Lauren Helpern should be noted. The studio apartment was esthetically pleasing and we were never bored with the show taking place in one room and the hallway. The room had a couch, two blow up mattresses, a kitchen and a door that lead to the bathroom. All very modern and cute.
The show, now playing at the Roundabout Theatre Company, is interesting and engaging once you hit the thirty minute mark. The first part was slow moving with many pauses but once the throttle was pushed, it didn’t slow down. For more information check out: http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/