‘Bad Jews’ A Very Funny Biting Comedy About Family Not Being Jewish Enough


Photo by Enci Box.

“Bad Jews” written by Joshua Harmon is a savage and ferociously hysterically funny play about family, faith, legacy and a “Chai” (a gold ornament of the Hebrew word which means living), now playing at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles.

Self proclaimmed Super Jew, Daphna Feygenbaum (Jeanette Deutsch) wants her late grandfather’s Chai. Her cousin Liam (Noah James) who definitely doesn’t share Daphna’s religious zest, has other ideas for the family heirloom. To Daphna’s horror, he wants to give it to his “shiksa” (non-jewish) girlfriend, Melody (Lila Hood) as an engagement present.

In the middle of this family drama is Liam’s brother, Jonah (Austin Rogers) who really doesn’t say much about anything.  He just wants peace.

What transforms next is a passionate—at times vicious—over the top funny exchange between all four characters which takes on themes of loyalty, betrayal, honoring traditions, and what defines a good Jew and a bad one.

I saw this play with my friend who isn’t Jewish, but she laughed just as loud as I did. “Bad Jews”, directed brilliantly by Dana Resnick, is a theatre experience for anyone that has a family or simply just wants to have a great time watching some excellent performers take on thought-provoking issues with wonderful caustic humor.

“Bad Jews” now plays at the Odyssey Theatre, located at 2055 South Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, through June 17, 2018. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Additional performances at 8 p.m.  May 9, May 17, May 30, and June 14, 2018.

Tickets are $30-$32. To purchase, go to the OdysseyTheatre.com or call 310-477-2055 ext. 2.

Joan Alperin

About Joan Alperin

Joan was born in Brooklyn and spent many years working as an actress in New York City. Even though she traveled extensively, Joan couldn't imagine living anywhere else.. Well one day, she met someone at a party who regaled her with stories about living in L. A. specifically Topanga Canyon. A few weeks later she found herself on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. Joan immediately fell in love with the town and has been living here for the last twenty years and yes, she even made it to Topanga Canyon, where she now resides, surrounded by nature, deer, owls and all kinds of extraordinary alien creatures.. Joan continued acting, but for the last several years (besides reviewing plays and film) she has been writing screenplays. Joan was married to a filmmaker who created the cult classic films, (way before she knew him) Faces of Death. As a result of his huge following, they created a funny movie review show entitled Two Jews on Film, where Joan and her husband, John would review movies and rate them with bagels You can see their reviews by going to youtube.com/twojewsonfilm. Although it's now only one Jew - Joan is occasionally joined by her beautiful Pekingnese and Japanese Chin.
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