Jewish Repertory Theatre's second staging of the season is Annie Korzen's autobiographical solo musical comedy, Excuse Me, I'm Talking!, billed as "a 90-minute adventure from the Bronx to Beverly Hills."
Judy Chaikin directs the work, written and performed by Korzen. Previews begin at The Duke on 42nd Street Feb. 3, with an opening slated for Feb. 11. Performances are expected to continue to Feb. 25.
Through tales and songs about her own life and observations of others, Korzen, who played Doris Klompus (of the Florida condo) on TV's "Seinfeld," creates 40 characters to express the trials and tribulations of being female and Jewish in America. Korzen also wrote songs for the show.
Korzen started as an actress-comedy writer Off-Broadway at the Off Center Theater, La Mama, Judson Poets Theater and Jewish Repertory Theatre. At the Philadelphia Festival Theater, she played Rob Morrow's mother in Ned Eisenberg's Soulful Scream of a Chosen Son. She appeared in the films, "Tootsie" and "Stardust Memories."
Excuse Me, I'm Talking!, formerly titled Yenta Unplugged!, was first produced at the Wintertide in Martha's Vineyard with Abigail and Tony McGrath's Off-Center Theatre. The show was expanded further at the West Coast Ensemble in Los Angeles under the artistic direction of Les Hanson. It then went to the Broward Stage Door Theatre in Florida, the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and was additionally developed at the Soho Playhouse in New York, presented by Dana Matthow. Since then, Korzen has performed the piece in Orlando, Sarasota, Durham, and Sydney, Australia.
Korzen also travels the lecture circuit with her talk, "The Good Yenta: A Humorous Celebration of Jewish Women."
Designers are Michelle Malvet (set) and Richard Latta (lighting). Musical arrangements are by Beth Ertz and Jackie O'Neill, and musical staging is by Kathy Cass.
Tickets are $40-$45. The Duke is at 229 West 42nd Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. For information, call (212) 239-6200.
— By Kenneth Jones