Mad Cow Theater
By Joshua Harmon
Directed by Shami McCormick
Rachel Comeau, Adam Minossora, Adam Reilly, Lea Kalisch
They’re Jewish, all right, but they aren’t THAT bad. True, Daphna (Kalisch) is strident and obsessed with Jewish culture to the point of embarrassing a Rabbi. Jona (Minossora) is a bit of a nebbish while Liam (Reilly) corners the market on Ivy League assholery. And his fiancé Melody (Comeau) has tattoos which you may recall is a no-no in that world. But the big fight tonight concerns the disposition of some family jewelry. Recently deceased granddad had a “Chai” necklace that he kept though his time in Auschwitz, and Liam want to use it to propose to melody. Daphna thinks she should get it; she’s the one who acting more Jewish than anyone else on stage. We hear the arguments pro and con with everyone is crammed into a telephone booth size apartment. There’s a view of the East River but and it’s too late to get a hotel. With a just fold out bed and two air mattresses, there will be no romance on THIS stage.
You must work to like these wound up New Yorkers. Daphna’s claim on this necklace is weak, and her overenthusiastic fascination with her history seems like she still “finding herself.” Liam had the best ranting monolog; I don’t recall the topic, but it was a magnificent speech. Ms. Comeau’s Melody seemed spacy but nice, and Minossora’s Jona seems the weakest personality here until he takes the biggest risk at the end. It’s a family drama, not that different from what we’ve all lived through and survived. The stakes are medium high, and the endpoint is set by the strongest hand on stage. They may be bad, but they ARE a family.