The Lake Dillon Theatre Company (LDTC) closes their 2016 season with BAD JEWS, a comedy about family and faith. This hilarious play written by Jewish-American playwright Joshua Harmon explores the relationship between three cousins as they are left to determine who ends up with a precious family heirloom in the wake of their grandfather’s death. In one corner is Daphna Feygenbam, volatile, self-assured and unbending. In the other is her equally stubborn cousin Liam, a secular and entitled young man, who has his shiksa girlfriend, Melody, in tow. Stuck in the middle is Liam’s brother, Jonah, who tries to stay out of the fray.
“….(The characters) are already at such odds, they are already pitted against one another and this is something that has been going on since they were little” said actor Richard Lindenfelzer who plays Liam Haber. “They are already at their boiling point, so it doesn’t take a whole lot for them to reach it and when they do it’s much more explosive”.
WHAT MAKES IT A COMEDY?
Exaggeration and misbehavior are often key elements in comic plays, films and television shows. In Bad Jews, each character is believable but extreme in his or her own way. Dahna and Liam are outraged and hyper-articulate. Melody is painfully naïve. Jonah wants to flee. As Daphna and Liam’s vicious words erupt we enjoy the vicarious thrill of characters acting out their darker impulses towards those whom they dislike or disagree with.
In Bad Jews, the playwright does not ridicule being Jewish, or the Holocaust, or experiencing a loss, but rather exerts pressure on several young people, most of who happen to be Jewish and related to each other. No matter how they behave, deep down they are real, vulnerable and therefore complex. Their authentic emotions and fragilities draw us in and make it safe to laugh.
“The play Bad Jews is ultimately about family dynamics and our place within them” said Director Christopher Alleman, “And although the context is a multi-generational Jewish family, the themes of the play are something we can all relate to and laugh about”
“Everyone has a family. Everyone knows the shenanigans that go on when you are in a family situation”, said actor Hannah Dubner who plays Daphna, “…your like ‘why am I acting like a crazy person over something that really is not a big deal right now’ but there is something in you that has been egged on”.
Spending time with family can sometimes be stressful. Though connected through shared ancestry, relatives can have distinctly different personality’s tastes, habits, politics and religious practices, not to mention emotional agendas.
Special events like births, deaths and holidays often push people together who would not normally choose to spend time with each other making Bad Jews the perfect play for this time of year. It’s your chance to laugh about clashing personalities and different outlooks on life and come together as one.
BAD JEWS will be performed at the Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s interim theater at the Outlets at Silverthorne, Green Village. During construction of their new home coming to Silverthorne in 2017, LDTC will be located at 246-X Rainbow Drive, Silverthorne, Colorado, 80498.