Fall brings with it a barrage of new shows, both on and off-Broadway. But with Fiddler on the Roof leaving us in December, an onstage kippah is less likely to be found. But hang in there; Jews are everywhere, if you just know where to look.
Take The Front Page, for example, beginning Broadway performances in less than a week. The characters aren’t Jewish. The lead actors also aren’t Jewish (no, Nathan Lane does not count). But it being a revival of a play co-written by the late, great Ben Hecht gets it on this list alone. The Jewish playwright’s career also included We Will Never Die, a pageant play from 1943 protesting the Holocaust. The Front Page is markedly different, a screwball comedy about journalism, but it’s long overdue for a return.
In the musical department, there’s Dear Evan Hansen. If you missed it when it was off-Broadway, you’ll now have your chance to see it after its transfer to Broadway in mid-November. The show isn’t overtly Jewish, but it’s one of those affairs so steeped in Jewish creative types and sensibility that it hardly matters. It’s a strong contender for Best Musical at the 2017 Tonys, so you’ll want to get on board now if you want to be smug about being among the first to enjoy a hit.
Another non-Jewish, Jewish-y musical is Holiday Inn: The New Irving Berlin Musical (and yes, the title includes all that.) It’s somewhat based off of the 1942 film, but it’s really an excuse to get all of Berlin’s hits into one evening. And who could complain about that?
But enough of this “almost Jewish” stuff. You want the real thing. Welcome back Fa
If all else fails, take the charmingly curmudgeonly old Jew in your life to see Black to the Future, Lewis Black’s latest solo-rant/comedy venture. His target this time? The 2016 presidential election. Oh dear. It’s an extremely limited run, with only six performances and one show per week. It’s already begun, so you’re going to want to jump on it now if you’re interested.
But the aforementioned news pales in comparison to the coming of Oh, Hello on Broadway. If you aren’t yet a tunahead, it’s not too late. Basically, comedians Nick Kroll (Jewish) and John Mulaney (gentile, but he has some great material about his Jewish wife), have comedic alter-egos that are two older New York gentlemen whose shenanigans have included everything from knocking off Philip Roth to crossing paths with Son of Sam. They tend to punctuate interactions by pranking people with gifts of sandwiches with way too much tuna (hence, “tunaheads” as fans of the act). Trust me, it works.
They’ve taken their live show on the road before, but now it’s hitting the big time. It begins Broadway performances later this month, and runs through the beginning of January.
Will there be too much tuna? We can only hope.