NJT continues season with ‘Bad Jews’

From left, Taylor Steward, Antonio Rodriguez, Em Piro and Pete Winfrey star in ‘Bad Jews.’ Photo: Eric Woolsey.

The New Jewish Theatre’s 19th season will continue in December with a show the New York Times in 2013 called the “best comedy of the season” — Josh Harmon’s “Bad Jews.” 

The story centers around three cousins who come together for shiva after their beloved grandfather’s funeral. As soon as cousin Liam enters with his non-Jewish girlfriend Melody, sparks begin to fly between him and cousin Daphna. She portrays herself as a “real Jew” while Liam is a self-described “bad Jew.” As the two lock horns over ownership of their grandfather’s chai necklace, sparks fly with abandon.

While the play has very broad appeal to all audiences, playwright Harmon is also probing what it means to be Jewish in the early years of the Facebook-infused 21st century, when the politics of racial identity have never been more visible or frequently expressed, nor people more easily offended, nor friends more easily customized to provide “likes” and supportive comments on demand.

The play’s appeal extends past the Jewish or 20-something members of the theater-going public, and has earned Harmon glowing reviews. 

Sydnie Grosberg Ronga directs a cast featuring Em Piro (St. Louis Fringe Festival founder), Antonio Rodriguez, Pete Winfrey and Taylor Steward. “Bad Jews” runs Dec. 3 to 20 in the Jewish Community Center’s Wool Studio Theatre, 2 Millstone Campus Dr. The play contains adult language. Tickets are $39.50 to $43.50, available at newjewishtheatre.org or 314-442-3283. 

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