Recipe for theatrical success: Take a hit Broadway play, tweak the plot, add some Hebraic schtick and you've got A Jew Grows in Brooklyn
. But don't be fooled. This theatrical production is much more than a well-told tale about days gone by. Like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
, it's a beautifully poignant and bittersweet look at New World children struggling to close the gap with their Old World parents. But unlike Tree
, this isn't about early-20th-century Irish-Americans; it's about a first-born American trying to relate to his Polish immigrant parents. Plus, there's a double whammy: They're Jewish Holocaust survivors. So as any child (or grandchild for that matter) of parents with that kind of history knows, every move, from playing stickball to getting married, is fraught with joy tinged with sadness. Writer-star Jake Ehrenreich takes it a step farther with personal video and photo presentations and hysterically funny, pertinent tunes, including Christmas songs written by Jewish composers, classic rock like "Secret Agent Man" and corny yet heart-rending Yiddishe Mama songs. But the best thing about it is, you don't have to be Jewish to like it. Gindi Auditorium, American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive; Mon., Feb. 13, 8 p.m.; also Tue.-Thurs., Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 5 p.m.; thru Feb. 25; $43-$75. (866) 811-4111, ajewgrowsinbrooklyn.com.
Mondays-Thursdays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 19, 2 & 5 p.m. Starts: Feb. 7. Continues through Feb. 25, 2012