Nu, so how many people get so lucky with a first play? 75 year old Alan Brandt, whose 2 1/2 Jews opened Dec. 12 at NYC's Raymond J. Greenwald Theater, just got some more good news from Do Gooder Productions. The company is extending the play yet again, this time into an open run. (The previous extension changed a Feb. 7 close to May 2.)
2 1/2 Jews is a seriocomedy about a prominent civil rights attorney who is a schlemiel on the home court in his relationships with his father and his son. Featured in the cast of Jews are Sam Gray, Tyagi Schwartz and Larry Block (Uncle Philip's Coat). Block replaced original cast member Richard Davidson a few months ago. Joe Brancato directs.
Though a first-time playwright, Brandt began his showbiz career as a publicist and songwriter. His song, "That's All" has been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Mel Torme and Peggy Lee. More recently, it was featured in the Adam Sandler film, "The Wedding Singer." Other Brandt tunes include "Where's Daddy?," "That's All From Tootsie," "Nothing's Going On Below The Belt," "Sting of the Bee" and "Night Holds No Fear For The Lord."
Asked about Jews' longevity, artistic director Mark Robert Gordon told Playbill On-Line, "We're the little show that could. In fact, we're running on a full Off-Broadway "A" Equity contract. Costs are kept down, and we're getting enough of an audience to cover it. It's a little miracle." Do Gooder Productions also staged On Deaf Ears a few seasons back.
2 1/2 Jews, which began previews Dec. 4, 1998, plays at The Greenwald Theater. For tickets ($32.50) call Tele Charge at (212) 239 6200. -- By Sean McGrath and David Lefkowitz