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Theatre Review: Monica Piper’s Not That Jewish Celebrates Love And Laughter


Not that Jewish by Monica Piper is an absolute hit.  I adore this show not because it is hilarious but because it is a moving show of the acclaimed writer/comedienne’s life. The New World Stages Premiere proves that Piper has a funny bone, but, more importantly, she has a huge heart that can translate unto any stage.


The set is a living room with two side-tables that become her office or the set up for a restaurant scene, one particularly humorous one with Mickey Mantle. The small stage is intimate and decorated just enough to give you a vision of her world without bombarding you with too much imagery beyond ones that she  verbally describes. Pictures of her family members sporadically come through when she lovingly describes how they have taught her to both give a laugh and receive one. Piper’s show reveals that being Jewish is not as much a religion as a spirit/ culture.


From the very beginning, Not That Jewish is an exploration of the virtues that have built this Biblical/historical religious community. Compassion, deeds, and humor are just a few of the morals placed upon piper from her birth as May Lee Davis. Piper had a loving upbringing with to parents they treated her like gold and talk her but the biggest laughs other ones that Are shared.  This explains Piper’s generous spirit and how she exudes the warmth that makes her lovable and timeless on stage.

 

There is not one moment in this show where you will be bored. On the contrary you will be sad that it has to end and your time with Piper is temporary. Although this show is very humorous and elevates Piper’s quick wit and comedic physicality, I personally walked out marveling the beauty of her heart.  Everyone smiled and laughed because Piper is a good, un-malicious human being which can seem like a rare gem. She is bright as a person and radiant in her positive openness for whatever life brings her. From the death of her parents, her battle with breast cancer, and the roughness of raising her teenage son, you want to hold Piper through these difficult struggles because she is so genuinely kind.
In a world that every day seems meaner, especially during this election, Monica Piper’s Not That Jewish is a reminder that there are some sweet personalities in this world that can still giveyou some great laughs.

 

Although Not That Jewish is Piper’s life discovery over her relationship with her religion, it does not mean that the show is solely focused on Judaism. Yes, Piper tells religious-based memories and Yiddish quotes, but, to both piper’s and the audience’s surprise, this 90 minute, one-woman play is truly an observation of what makes a spirit love and laugh.  Throughout her life, Piper never stops giving to the people that walk in and out of it, and she never stops being generous to viewers. She will do a funny face, and elaborate dance, and fast joke on her struggles with drug-addicted boyfriend and you will be in awe at her positivity.  Piper is infectious with her joy and admiration for life, which is what gives Not That Jewish a universality.

Not that Jewish is for every age, every religion, and practically every human being.  Monica Piper represents the virtues we all need to be resilient and rise through life. This Emmy award-winning, Rugrats creating comedienne’s life, will make you take notes on how to better approach your own.  To Buy Ticket Click Here.

New World Stages Theatre
340 West 50th Street
New York, NY 10019
Not That Jewish plays January 29, 2016