After weeks of grim tidings, one small piece of happy news has hit the wires, fluttering into our hearts like Hope emerging from the depths of Pandora’s Box. Larry David has written a play and it’s coming to Broadway. Scott Rudin will produce.
The play is called Fish in the Dark, and it’s about sitting shiva.
Shiva. Just soak it in. Imagine how much yelling there is going to be. And crazy old people. And crazy old people yelling at each other about nothing. And also musings on mortality and hilarious—not tragic—death.
I am nominally a professional writer (actually, more than nominally since I’ve come to Hollywood, where living wages still exist), but I am struggling to tell you how elated I am by this news. Not only because I adore Larry David (despite his somewhat spotty record in his non-television ventures—Mixed Nuts, anyone? Whatever Works?), but because of the overwhelming sense of relief I feel that for a limited engagement next season on Broadway, the worldwide perception of Jewish identity will be restored to its rightful place in the galaxy.
We’re not a warlike people. We’re cantankerous old men and overbearing women screaming humorously about minutiae over heaping plates of sympathy kugel! We’re not heartless imperialists. We’re a people who can construct an entire episode of high-concept television around how many samples one is rightfully entitled to at the ice cream store! That’s who we are! Please, just let us go back to that!
It makes me think we almost need an entire rehabilitation campaign built around the theater, which I understand is sort of preaching to the converted in terms of re-characterizing Jews as cranky old people (I saw Old Jews Telling Jokes three times, and the audience was made up entirely of old Jews yelling the punchlines to said jokes before the actors could, a metaphysical puzzle that would confounded Plato.) Mel Brooks needs to make a triumphant return to the stage with a Chekhovian chamber piece about the home lives of the Yiddish speaking Indians. Billy Crystal should star in a revival of Death of a Salesman. Buyer and Cellar, the hit Jonathan Tolins play about Barbra Streisand’s private shopping mall, should just be a hit movie already.
And I need an app that blocks all bad news from my social media feeds before I lose my damn mind.