Backstage farce up next at NJT

Cast of the NJT production of ‘Jacob and Jack.’

“Jacob and Jack,” the final production of the New Jewish Theatre’s 2011-2012 season, combines elements of contemporary and Yiddish theater in a classic marital farce complicated by dual role-playing. It will be presented from May 3-20 in the Wool Studio Theater at the Jewish Community Center’s Arts and Education Building 2 Millstone Campus Drive.

Written by James Sherman, the play’s setting is three inter-connected dressing rooms in an old Chicago theater where Jack Shore, a mediocre television commercial actor, has been asked to participate in a one-night only tribute to his grandfather, Jacob Shemerinsky, a great star of the Yiddish Theater. 

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Six actors play dual roles, one in each time period with humorous escapades and snappy banter. The play is a commentary on actors (and their mothers, wives, girlfriends and managers), marriage, midlife crises and the American way of adapting to any and all vicissitudes.  But it is also a comic love letter to the American theater—from its Yiddish roots to its long obsession with the siren call that lures stage actors to Hollywood. 

NJT Artistic Associate Edward Coffield directs the production, which features NJT other Artistic Associate, Bobby Miller, along with Kari Ely, Donna Weinsting, Terry Meddows, Julie Layton and Justin Ivan Brown. 

Tickets for the play are $35.50 to $39.50.

“A Celebration of Yiddish Theater” hosted by St. Louis-Post-Dispatch theater critic, Judith Newmark and featuring the film “The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theatre” will be presented at 7 p.m. Monday, April 30 as a prelude to the production.  Tickets for the event are $15. 

For tickets, contact the NJT box office, 314-442-3283 or visit the NJT website, www.newjewishtheatre.org. For more information call the NJT box office at 314-442-3283.