How would you like to never have to make another decision about your life ever again? According to Bryan Fogel’s and Sam Wolfson’s wildly successful comedic play Jewtopia, all you have to do is marry a Jewish woman. Oy vey!
Jews and gentiles alike will be thrilled to hear that Jewtopia is once again hitting the stage for dozens of side-splitting performances until November 14. For the first time, co-writer Fogel is serving as the play’s director in order to bring what he expects to be an even funnier revival of the smash comedic hit to the audience.
“I wanted to direct the original. I saw so many things from a director’s point of view I wanted to change,” Fogel explained. “So this time around, we’ve got brand new staging, new sets, new lighting, new cast. Some of the play has been rewritten, tweaked, and revived. I saw it as something I can make better.”
Jewtopia follows the experiences of two single 29-year-old men, Chris O’Connell and Adam Lipschitz. Chris is a gentile who only dates Jewish women as he believes they will make all of his decisions for him. Adam, a Jew, dates only gentile women for the sole reason that they don’t remind him of his mother. Chris soon devises a solution to their problems – he promises to help Adam find his perfect Jewish girl and show him “Jewtopia” if Adam will help Chris break free of his gentile roots by teaching him all about Jewish culture.
“Seven years ago, [Sam and I] were looking at the idea of being single and pressured to marry,” Fogel answered with a laugh when asked about his inspiration for Jewtopia. “At the time, my sister was marrying a non-Jewish guy. She started running his life for him, making all of his decisions. I thought it was the greatest thing ever, and the play’s concept was born from that.”
“If anyone has seen the play before, this is a new and different production,” Fogel explained. “If you ever want to go into a restaurant and change your meal beyond all recognition, Jewtopia will show you how to do that.”
Fogel and Wolfson also authored a book in 2006 based on the play’s concepts. After a highly contested nine-publisher auction, Warner Books published Fogel’s work with the title: Jewtopia: The Chosen Book for the Chosen People.
“It’s a full-color coffee table, crazy Jon Stewart kind of book,” Fogel said. “The American book for Jews. ‘The View’ featured me with it a couple years ago. It’s not a typical book as you’d imagine. It has drawings and illustrations of a Jewish Kama Sutra. It has guides on how to manscape and how to alter your meals beyond recognition.”
Fogel then went on to say that a Jewtopia movie is in the works, slated for shooting next February or March and a theater release around this time next year.
“We’re offering a special discount to OC Jewish Life readers,” Fogel added. “They can save 30 percent on tickets by entering the promo code OCJL.”
Jewtopia will be performing at the Greenway Court Theatre in West Hollywood until November 14. Performances are on Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm; and Sundays at 3:30pm. Ticket prices are $59.50 and are available – along with more information – at www.jewtopia.com or at (800) 595-4849.