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Borscht Belt Flashback

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Thank God for comedy. What's more, thank God in a heaping extra measure for the Jewish variation on humanity's blessed (and necessary -- don't even try to think how crazy a species we'd be without humor's safety valve) instinct: the one for cracking jokes. While every culture has its native sense of humor, it's the Jewish people who've refined the trait into a beautiful and sturdy art form. And now, to augment a priceless comedic lineage that encompasses the Marx Brothers, Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn, Woody Allen and Myron Cohen right on up to Sasha Baron Cohen, we have Daniel Okrent and Peter Gethers' Old Jews Telling Jokes, a play that's subject matter is made plainly evident by its title. But there are also staged gags, musical numbers, and character-driven monologues and scenes. It's good medicine, laughter; get yourself some here. The New Jewish Theatre presents Old Jews Telling Jokes at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday (May 8 through June 1) in the Wool Studio Theater at the Jewish Community Center (2 Millstone Campus Drive, Creve Coeur; 314-442-3283 or www.newjewishtheatre.org). Tickets are $35 to $39.
Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Starts: May 8. Continues through June 1, 2014

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