When last we heard from Off-Broadway's Jewish Repertory Theatre, the company received a $100,000 from the Righteous Persons Foundation, founded by filmmaker Steven Spielberg to promote Jewish life and culture. As first reported by Playbill On-Line in December, Jewish Rep's next show will be Too Jewish Two, the sequel to Avi Hoffman's solo revue, Too Jewish. The musical comedy piece, directed by Hoffman, begins previews Apr. 18 for an opening Apr. 28 and a run through May 17.
As with the first show, wherein Hoffman saluted Israeli poets, Fiddler on the Roof and comic-actor Menashe Skulnick, TJ2 will again mix spoken word pieces with music. The emphasis on comedy will be even stronger this time, with Hoffman celebrating such borscht belt comics as Myron Cohen, and singing ditties by Mickey Katz and Allen Sherman.
Accompanied by a lone piano in the first Too Jewish, Hoffman will now be backed by a six-piece Klezmer band, making TJ2 the second Klezmer show current Off-Broadway (Hot Klezmer at American Jewish Theatre) and the third this season (A Dybbuk).
After Too Jewish Two at Jewish Rep, ending the season (previews June 6; running June 14-June 28 (tentative) will be a new musical: The Fishkin Touch, music by Greg Armbruster; lyrics by NY newspaper columnist Lenore Skenazy, book by David Javerbaum. Spokesperson Adam Meza sums up the plot this way: "Second Avenue matinee idol discovers he has a son."
For tickets or more information on shows at Jewish Repertory Theatre at the Playhouse 91 space on East 91st St., call (212) 831-2000, or refer to the Off-Broadway listing on Playbill On-Line.
-- By David Lefkowitz