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Not That Jewish

Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Delightful, Absorbing
82
Critics
77
15 reviews
Members
82
145 reviews
 

Emmy Award-winning writer and comedian, Monica Piper, stars in her autobiographical solo show about being Jew-"ish."

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From growing up in a show business family and taking her first step onto a comedy club stage, to a WASP wedding and an "almost" night with Mickey Mantle, Piper shares the milestones and moments that have shaped her life. Using the same signature wit found in her writing for 'Roseanne' and 'Mad About You,' Piper takes the audience on a journey from innocence to individuality, reliant to resilient, sharing both humor and heartache along the way.

 


Reviews (160)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
77
Avg Score

70
The New York Times

"Ms. Piper is in her comfort zone with the funny stuff, of course, and the comedic high points are delicious. She’s less successful when she turns serious, trying for a poignancy that requires more acting skill than she possesses; several segments are more maudlin than moving…But she smartly never lets them go on for long and is quick to lighten the room just when things are in danger of becoming too heavy." Full Review

65
Theatermania

"Piper's acclaim and sheer reliability is likely why the show has come to the Big Apple, but 'Not That Jewish' can't shake the feeling that it belongs more in a synagogue social hall...Her Old World-style jokes, just on the cusp of dirty, go down easy and earn friendly chuckles. But Piper's presentational style and director Mark Waldrop's artificial production undercut the show's more emotional moments...They're still moving, but not as poignant as they could be." Full Review

80
Lighting & Sound America

"Piper, who can ram home a punch line with the best of them, is, most of the time, a relaxed, affable presence, and she doesn't shy away from the sorrows in her life story...The darker the subject matter, the funnier Piper is...'Not That Jewish' is warm, funny, and grounded in plenty of gritty detail...Waldrop has directed with a light hand, and has also provided his star with a better-than-usual design...Even if you aren't that Jewish, you should find some solid laughs and honest sentiment." Full Review

80
Talkin' Broadway

"What you get is not a stand-up routine, but a standard-issue bio play with, perhaps, an above-average number of laughs...Piper has taken the unusual avenue of not trying to split your sides, even though she's clearly capable of doing so, and instead taken the attack straight to your heart...'Not That Jewish' isn't as funny as you think it will be, but it's far moving, and the good time you get when you go, even if it's not the kind you expect, will not leave you feeling deprived at all." Full Review

85
Theatre's Leiter Side

“Through it all, she finds the laughter beneath life's ups and downs. Many of the jokes are Jewish-inflected and familiar to anyone who's seen, let's say, Jackie Mason's routines. Every now and then, a word floats by to spur the next sequence in the show. Despite its theme, the play is for everyone who has a Jewish heart, much as those old Levy's Jewish rye bread ads used to imply; still, folks who laugh at Yiddishisms will soak up just a bit more of its ethnic gravy than everyone else.” Full Review

80
Times Square Chronicles

"Piper brings back the days of the Borscht Belt, Old World-style jokes and a time gone by. She is witty and full of life. Director Mark Waldrop ties everything together. Part of the joy of watching this show is the laughter that rolls out and through the audience. In a time when laughter has been replaced with stress and fear thanks to this abominable election, it is nice to hear this sound ringing out around you." Full Review

90
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"She emits such sincerity that one gladly accepts whatever she is telling us. She also has the gift of being able to turn the corner and stir emotions between the laughs...Piper knows how to get to you. Piper is an excellent actress...Director Mark Waldrop has kept the show smooth as she moves about at the right moments...It all comes down to the intimacy she is able to establish with her audience in this generously entertaining and often moving performance." Full Review

60
Front Row Center

"I’m laughing and relating, mostly..."'Not That Jewish' needs a good bit of trimming, and another hook to hang its hat on. As it stands now, she’s trying to force the narrative of her life into the framework of how she relates to her Judaism...The whole 'I don’t go to temple so I have to prove to myself I’m Jewish' thing? Not so resonant with me...Being a single mother and beating breast cancer? That’s something to talk about." Full Review

60
Theater Pizzazz

"'Not That Jewish' positions its storyteller front and center in its narrative. Since Piper is an adept performer and writer who knows how to land a joke, that’s not all bad. But it does get a little awkward during the not infrequent spurts of self-adulation...She is a smart woman with a quick wit and that magical ingredient known as comic timing. Yet wit and timing get bogged down considerably as she wades through the treacly landscape of her family history, rendering her not that funny." Full Review

80
Theatre is Easy

"Piper delivers an intimate performance within the large proscenium at New World Stages. Through all the teary moments in the audience, Piper manages to bring a smile back with one of her jokes and expert physical comedy. In some moments, it is easy to eagerly await the next punch line, like watching a stand-up comic's routine, while in others, Piper captures true theatre and creates a tangible stillness in the crowd as she, herself, struggles to find the right words." Full Review

80
Epoch Times

"The title of this zany, entertaining show comes from playwright and performer Monica Piper’s early childhood experience of being told by a playmate that she 'wasn’t that Jewish'...Piper got over it...You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this show. Piper is a winning performer able to make very clear any of the Yiddish-isms she spouts. I recommend the show for anyone who wants to enjoy hearty laughs in a comfortable, cozy setting." Full Review

95
Diandra Reviews it All

"I adore this show not because it is hilarious but because it is a moving show of the acclaimed writer/comedienne's life...There is not one moment in this show where you will be bored...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 give you some great laughs...'Not that Jewish' is for every age, every religion, and practically every human being." Full Review

85
BroadwayWorld

for a previous production "A wonderful evening of entertainment and laughs…I don't remember any show I have seen with my Mom where we both laughed so much and had such a good time being in an audience. It is certainly understandable why people come back with new groups of friends to experience the show over and over again. See it for yourself and you will certainly understand why - and what it takes to have a Jewish heart." Full Review

90
Stage Raw

for a previous production "Piper’s performance is as much a stand up piece as it is a bona fide play…However, it’s hard to blame her – one thing Piper knows is comedy…The play is like being present for a classic comedy act, and if you take the show in that spirit, it’s delightful...What elevates the show above being a merely reflexive comedy routine is the awareness that Piper’s comic spirit arises from an inner existential sadness…Piper herself cuts an extremely likable portrait on stage." Full Review

95
LA Splash

for a previous production "Brilliantly delivered…It is a multifaceted, deeply human story that includes all the elements of the human condition…Monica self-examines her life with honesty, and though told with humor, one feels her pain…There are many laugh-out-loud moments in this flawless production…What you’re getting is Monica Piper’s undiluted excellence, in a wonderful show…What’s there to complain about? Don’t miss this one!" Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
82
Avg Score

70
Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy watching a one act, one woman show about the life story of a Jewish stand-up comic and TV script writer

Don't see it if you don't enjoy cabaret style shows; the show has some nice moments, but it seems like one long stand up routine with a lot of punch lines

85
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you like comedies

Don't see it if you don't like comedies

72
Funny, Clever, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if you like an autobiographical one woman show

Don't see it if you are not into stories about a particular ethnic culture

90
Funny, Delightful, Resonant, Great writing, Touching,

See it if you want to laugh and cry, and have a great evening. Monica is marvelous.

Don't see it if you don't like one person shows, and don't like to laugh.

75
Funny, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You like a little Jewish humor sprinkled with yiddish. (You're Jewish enough if you have good deeds, acceptance, humor and compassion.)

Don't see it if You don't like one woman shows.

83
Funny, Clever, Great writing, Entertaining, Touching

See it if You like to hear a life story, told in a funny way

Don't see it if You don't care for Jewish topics, want a big snow, a musical, or something more than someone's musings about their life

95
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Refreshing, Resonant

See it if You like humor mixed with philosophy. If you want to leave the theater feeling good. You like to laugh.

Don't see it if You don't like one-person plays. You don't care for Jewish themes.

70
Funny, Clever, Touching

See it if you enjoy solo shows & are Jewish. This wouldn't play well to non-Jews, but all NYers are honorary MOTs. Poignancy of cancer and adoption.

Don't see it if broad humor annoys you. Piper is big-hearted and as her dad told her, "You're funny, kid." Not everything lands, but enough does.

78
Funny, Clever, Intelligent

See it if Charming memoir of her life but many of the stories, imitations and types are familiar.

Don't see it if Do not like Jewish broad humor.

70
Funny, Clever, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if You're Jewish; you know at least 1 Jew; or you know that Jewish people exist in the world. You like a One-Woman Show. You like Jewish humor.

Don't see it if You don't like seeing one-person performances. You don't have a sense of humor. You like to see more traditional "Stand-Up-Comedy" Shows ;~)

90
Intelligent, Relevant, Hilarious, Extremely well acted, Very moving

See it if You enjoy hearing warm human life stories told with humor and intelligence. This is a delightful theatre experience!

Don't see it if You don't like one woman shows that make you laugh and cry.

Also This is an intimate theatre experience. You feel as though you have ma... Read more Read less

89
Funny, Touching, Meaningful

See it if You are interested in the jewish culture, in the experiences of single mothers or enjoy family stories.

Don't see it if You are not interested in jewish culture or in family stories.

84
Funny, Poignant, Clever, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if you like one woman shows, comedy, learning about the life of a professional comedian/TV show writer & surprisingly poignant endings.

Don't see it if you don't like solo shows, autobiographical shows, comedy.

Also You don't need to be Jewish to appreciate this show. It's got a bit of... Read more Read less

75
Funny, Resonant, Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if Monica Piper is a favorite of yours. For 80 minutes she talks about her childhood, family, dreams and life. Sometimes she's funny.

Don't see it if you are expecting hilarity or a play. The performance is monolog biography with a few very funny lines but long spaces between.

85
Funny, Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if You enjoy listening to an autobiography. The highs and the lows told in an open and honest manner.

Don't see it if You want a fantasy. You don't want to hear someone else talk about their lives, warts and all.

Also I guess I have a Jewish heart even if I cannot eat chopped liver. When... Read more Read less

85
Funny, Clever, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You like one-woman shows. You like ethnic comedy. Excellent presentation.

Don't see it if You don't like one-woman shows. You don't like ethnic comedy, specifically Jewish humor.

72
Funny, Refreshing, Entertaining, Sweet, Touching

See it if you enjoy family-friendly, family-centric comedy

Don't see it if you're not into one-person shows.

84
Funny, Delightful, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You have ever pondered what being Jewish really is, for Jews and non-Jews alike. Enjoy life narratives with pathos, humor and heart.

Don't see it if You want thigh slapping hilarity...this is much sweeter and gentler. Have no interest in Jewish culture - how is that possible?

88
Absorbing, Humorous, Heartwarming, Relatable, Life story

See it if You are or aren't Jewish and think that you will appreciate a passionate, one woman, funny, biographical show with a lot of heart.

Don't see it if You aren't a fan of 1 person shows & think that you won't find one woman's account of her humorous journey through life at all interesting.

79
Funny, Clever, Quirky, Entertaining, Autobiographical

See it if You like to laugh & you like comedy. You like real stories & stories about being Jewish. You like hearing about life in NYC & LA.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a one-woman show. You're not interested in the life of a Jewish comedian / mother.

77
Funny, Great acting, Refreshing, Great writing, Dated

See it if You have an understanding of Jewish culture and want some escapism from the modern heavy politically infused climate

Don't see it if You don't want to see a short, autobiographical comedy with only one cast member

75
Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Touching

See it if understand Jewish culture or want to understand Jewish culture. This is a very heartwarming and funny autobiographical short play.

Don't see it if you don't care about Jewish culture.

Also Although this is truly a funny, you will leave with a lump in your thr... Read more Read less

90
Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if Going down a biographical road with a fine comedian/actress who tells hilarious and very poignant stories is for you. You are Jewish !

Don't see it if You don't enjoy one person shows. You are not familiar with the very iconic Jewish sense of humor and can't appreciate it. Otherwise see it!

85
Funny, Clever, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if you like one person comedy shows. like to hear funny stories from a Jewish perspective. there is a moral to the story

Don't see it if you don't like one person show

70
Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if you want to see what a bright Jewish woman has created for her one woman show.

Don't see it if you dislike one woman shows. you have seen plays many about being Jewish. It didn't seem that funny to me.