Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

A Jewish Joke

From 44 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant

About the show

In this solo dramedy, Bernie Lutz is a curmudgeonly Jewish comedy screenwriter from MGM, who comes up against the Communist blacklist in 1950’s Hollywood. More…

Now, he has to decide what's more important - his friends, or his livelihood? Armed with stories about the great era of Jewish humor, "A Jewish Joke" is about one American's fight against one of the darkest moments of the mid-20th century. 

1h 30m | Already closed | Theatre Row / Theatre One (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (44)


Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant
Avg Score

During previews
Writing better than acting, Needs editing, Interesting presentation of important topic

See it if One man piece about Hollywood black-listing interspersed with sweet if old jokes.

Don't see it if Rare for NYC, the material is better than the actor. This play deserves another production with a more nuanced portrayal.

During previews
Disappointing, Slow, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if You are interested in a story relating to the Communist blacklist of the 1950s. Although the actor tried, this production was cliched.

Don't see it if You want a storyline that is more than answering the phone. Very slow, bad jokes, not a good exposition of the problems experienced then.

During previews
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like plays that take you to unexpected places and challenges both the character in the play and audience to make the right choices

Don't see it if You want a funny play. The joke is not really a joke but a deep look at a difficult time in our country

During previews
Worth seeing, Not that funny, Not the story you are expecting

See it if Yes about the blacklist but it's just alluded to. This is a moral tale for our (or any) time. What will you do to keep a job? friend?

Don't see it if You don't want a moral challenge. You don't want to have to think You don't like 1 person shows You can't forgive bad jokes I knew every 1!

During previews
Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy a show about blacklisting during the McCarthy era, lightened up with some Jewish humor.

Don't see it if don't enjoy one-man shows, Jewish humor, historical stories

Also A well-acted one-man show. He did a tremendous job of carrying the sto... Read more Read less

During previews
Resonant, Good acting, Disappointing, Relevant

See it if Actor works hard to carry the one man show. The emotions &dilemmas of McCarthy era come across &issues of discrimination are relevant today.

Don't see it if The incessant phone ringing and use of the one sided phone call and old jokes are distracting.

During previews
Slow, Banal, Disappointing

See it if Live nearby and have a free ticket

Don't see it if Expecting jokes,and/or interesting information about "Witch Hunting" in 1950s; annoyed by constant phone ringing and water drinking on stage

Also Good intention but HUGE disappointment. Staging and music are very 50s... Read more Read less

During previews
Quirky, Relevant, Similar to today’s blackballing behavior, Nicely performed, Intense

See it if you want to see a brave guy act his heart out for 90 mins, which is tough. There were some ba-dum-bump jokes.

Don't see it if you don’t like intimate theater experiences & you’re too critical of small productions.

Also Johnson was energetic & put his heart into the show. I call him brave ... Read more Read less

During previews
Felt sorry for performer, Too much nothingness, Some funny jokes thrown in

See it if you can sit through a show for a few good, well worn jokes and little relevant info about McCarthy period.

Don't see it if you wish to be well informed or entertained.

During previews
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if you are interested in one person's experience in being blacklisted during McCarthy Hollywood era. Could so happen again during these times.

Don't see it if it's big Broadway splashes that you yearn.

During previews
Not very funny, Disappointing, Ambitious, Slow

See it if If you like one-man shows, original direction of the play and you don't know anything about the red scare of the 50's

Don't see it if If you expect a really funny show or an interesting story line

During previews
Confusing, Slow, Disappointing

See it if Did not like it at all. Boring! If you like a slow story about a joke writer who is his none stop on the phone ... Go and see it!

Don't see it if Boring! A confusing story . One man show , not even funny.

During previews
Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like Jewish humor and great acting. Amazing transformation of character from one scene to the next.

Don't see it if You don’t like great drama or the subject of blacklisting in Hollywood.

During previews
Quirky, Great writing, Funny, Clever

See it if want to learn about the anguish and stories about lives ruined by the McCarthy era blacklist, this show examines the consequences.

Don't see it if The device used to forward the narrative is incessant phone call conversations with the principle actor. It gets contrived & confusing,

During previews
Masterful, Great acting, Funny, Clever, Absorbing

See it if If you love Jewish comedy, if you like learning about the McCarthy period, and if you have an old sensibility.

Don't see it if There is no reason not to see it.

During previews
Riveting, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You love a good story and outstanding acting

Don't see it if No such thing. See it

During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Slow, Intelligent, Clever

See it if Interested in the era and issues

Don't see it if Don’t care for a one man show

During previews
Slow, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if If you like slow humor

Don't see it if Very boring. Slow and not funny

During previews
Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if i have never seen a one person show. it was impressive i learned alot.

Don't see it if i have no reason not to see it.

March 14th, 2019
"'A Jewish Joke' brings immediacy to not only the personal and professional effects of the Hollywood blacklist, but to the current onslaught of internet finger-pointing and fear-mongering that can, and does, ruin lives even more quickly than in the slow-moving fifties. Watching Bernie squirm and ...
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March 13th, 2019
"It’s a sound set-up for drama, but 'A Jewish Joke' fails to deliver. First, there is nothing particularly Jewish about the political landscape it evinces...Despite excellent staging by David Ellenstein and an evocative set design by Michael Joseph Ormond, this hackneyed production adds little to...
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March 13th, 2019
"A crowded, unsubtle piece, jammed with annoyingly incessant, desperate phone business, including frustrated banging of the receiver...Extraneous issues…further clutter the narrative…This should be tour-de-force territory, and Johnson's intensely strenuous efforts are likely to be appreciated as ...
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March 14th, 2019
"Director David Ellenstein keeps the show moving, but this is Mr. Johnson’s piece. He embodies those men who were up against the wall and used a much humor as they could to survive this hellish attack on humanity based not on facts, but trumped up lies and fear...This play made me remember that t...
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