Northeast Times

Play provides comedic look at a dysfunctional family

Cen­ter stage: Steve So­lomon’s play, My Moth­er’s Itali­an, My Fath­er’s Jew­ish, I’m Home for the Hol­i­days, will be per­formed at the Bucks County Play­house now through Nov. 23.

In his play, My Moth­er’s Itali­an, My Fath­er’s Jew­ish, I’m Home for the Hol­i­days, tak­ing cen­ter stage at the Bucks County Play­house through Nov. 23, Steve So­lomon il­lu­min­ates his wildly dys­func­tion­al fam­ily at this most happy time of the year.

In the play, So­lomon is head­ing home to cel­eb­rate the hol­i­days with his fam­ily when he gets stuck at the air­port where all flights have been can­celed. That’s when the phone calls — and the chaos — be­gin.

“That’s when I turn to the audi­ence to in­vite them in­to this kind of crazi­ness that it seems every­one can re­late to,” So­lomon said. “We all get to at­tend hol­i­day din­ner at Grandma’s where, if you’re un­der 55, you still sit at the chil­dren’s table and 35 people share one toi­let.”

So­lomon, a nat­ive of Brook­lyn, grew up in the multi-eth­nic neigh­bor­hood of Sheep­shead Bay. He said that was the per­fect train­ing ground for a dia­lec­tician and comedi­an.

So­lomon even­tu­ally went in­to teach­ing and also be­came an as­sist­ant su­per­in­tend­ent of schools on Long Is­land. But he soon be­came bored and not in sync with oth­ers around him.

“My brain was turn­ing to Jell-O and after sev­er­al years real­ized I just couldn’t take it any­more.”

And since he was al­ways writ­ing com­edy and loved do­ing it, he de­cided to fol­low his heart and do what he be­lieved he did best. He star­ted by do­ing stand-up, but after but­ting heads with audi­ence mem­bers and oth­er com­ics 20 years young­er than he was, he began writ­ing his own shows.

First came My Moth­er’s Itali­an, My Fath­er’s Jew­ish, and I’m In Ther­apy. That show be­came a three-time award-win­ner and played to sold-out crowds throughout the world. In fact, he said it’s be­come one of the longest-run­ning one-man com­edy shows in his­tory.

Two se­quels fol­lowed: My Moth­er’s Itali­an, My Fath­er’s Jew­ish and I’m Still In Ther­apy and his most re­cent, the one he said is his fa­vor­ite and the one that is com­ing to Bucks County.

All three of So­lomon‘s shows are cur­rently tour­ing and have re­ceived crit­ic­al ac­claim, in­clud­ing The Con­necti­c­ut Crit­ics Circle, The San Fran­cisco Drama Desk nom­in­a­tion and Broad­way World’s “Fa­vor­ite New Play.”

“In my shows, I don’t ri­dicule older people. I simply re­peat the kinds of things I heard my moth­er and fath­er say­ing. And I found out that people could re­late to what the 20 dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters in my play were say­ing.”

So­lomon adds that he un­der­stands the kinds of things audi­ences can re­late to. “And when they walk out of the show with tears in their eyes or hold­ing their bel­lies from hav­ing laughed so much, I know I’ve done my job and done it well.”

Today, he looks back with great sat­is­fac­tion in hav­ing fol­lowed his dream.

“It was scary in the be­gin­ning,” said the 55-ish-year-old So­lomon. “It was a struggle for some time but I knew I had to fol­low my dreams, even if it meant be­com­ing an im­pov­er­ished com­edy writer and per­former. For­tu­nately it all worked out for me.” ••

For times and tick­et in­form­a­tion, call 215-862-2121.

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