Friday, March 21, 2008

Jewish mom Gold chats about show, stereotypes | ®

Jewish mom Gold chats about show, stereotypes ®:


Jewish mom Gold chats about show, stereotypes
By Cathalena E. Burch
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 03.21.2008


"25 Questions for a Jewish Mother"
Presented by: Invisible Theatre.
Starring: Judy Gold.

Written by: Judy Gold and Kate Moria Ryan.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Berger Center for the Performing Arts, 1200 W. Speedway.
Tickets: $42 through Invisible Theatre, 882-9721.
Online: Hear snippets from the show at

Comedian Judy Gold walks down a busy street in San Francisco, ear glued to a cell phone, mind on lunch.
"I just want to order some food," she said, ducking into a cafe.
Through the muffled sounds of her hand over the phone you can make out her order: sandwich, hold the bacon, bag of chips.

Lunch on the run in a brown bag — one of the disappointments of being on the road with her one-woman show, "25 Questions for a Jewish Mother." She began touring the production last fall and will present its Southwest premiere this weekend at Invisible Theatre.
The biggest drawback to the road: being away from her two sons, 11-year-old Henry and 6-year-old Ben.

"When I'm on the East Coast I go home the minute the show ends because I miss my babies," said the 6-foot-3 Jewish lesbian stand-up comedian who gave birth to her youngest son through artificial insemination. Her ex-partner gave birth to the older son. Same conception method, she notes.
In an accent that mirrors the one she uses to mimic her mother — stereotypical New York, leaning more toward Long Island, clocking in at at least 100 words a minute — Gold chatted during last week's cell-phone interview about "25 Questions," motherhood and shattering stereotypes.
How did this show take on a life of its own?

"I always wanted to do a one-person show. I've been doing stand-up my whole life. A friend of mine, Kate Moira Ryan, who is a playwright, we were in Chicago together . . . and I said to her, 'Look, I want to do a one-person show, but I didn't want it to be me doing therapy on stage.' And I was telling her I get bad press from the Jewish press for promoting stereotypes when I talk about my mother.
"We initially decided to go around and interview Jewish mothers to see if there really was a stereotype. What ended up happening was these women were so incredibly fascinating, they basically changed my life.

"We realized we had something here. . . . We ended up going on the road. I would call local synagogues. We initially started with 49 questions, then ended up with 25. And these women were unbelievable. . . . At first I thought I'm going to go to these Orthodox women and they're going to be like 'I cook for my husband. I do the kids' laundry.' They were nothing like I thought. . . . I realized these women had never been asked these questions — What's your biggest regret? What would you have done had you not had children?"

Did it confirm or rebuke your stereotypes?

"Totally rebuked. There were certain things that were stereotypical, like an accent."
A lot of us, when we think of a Jewish mother, we assign that Long Island accent.
"Oh, exactly. We interviewed Southern Jews. That's the most hilarious. I hear a Southern accent, I want to run in a corner. They have Southern accents and wear cowboy hats. It really opened my eyes."
What was common among the women?

"The only thing that these women had in common besides the fact that they were Jewish and they were mothers was that they all spoke to their children every day. The other thing was, whenever we went to someone's home, there was always food there."
So has this redeemed you with the Jewish press?

"It was one newspaper in particular, and this woman would accost me at all these events, saying, 'When are you going to leave Jewish mothers alone?' And I'm thinking, here you are in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Little Israel, criticizing me. And I am traveling around the country talking about my Jewish mother to these people, some who had never seen a Jew."
Are you and your mom close?

"Oh my God, yeah. I talk to her about 100 times a day. She wants residuals but she's not getting them because it went to my therapy. She's pretty incredible. She has an incredible sense of humor. She's very smart; she reads all the time. And yet she is the epitome of what one might call the stereotypical, overbearing Jewish mother."

How's your mother as a grandmother? Has she elevated that stereotype onto grandmothers?
"Here's the thing. My mother . . . has this really unbelievable personality that I was never privy to as a child, which was called being nice and happy and supportive. So I don't know where the f--- that came from. I'm like, where was this personality when I needed it?"
She likes the kids?

"Oh my God, loves the kids. Here I am, I've done nothing conventional in my life. I'm gay, I have two kids through artificial insemination. I'm a comic. And if you ask my mother, who does not want to talk about me being gay. . . if she's missed out on anything because I'm gay, she'll say no. She's got grandkids out of this."

Are you and your partner still together?

"No, she is my ex. We still live in the same building. I have a new partner who I love who is great. She's Jewish and a therapist. My older son said, 'Isn't it great that mommy's girlfriend is a therapist because now she can have therapy 24 hours a day.' "

She wasn't your therapist before you started dating, was she?
"No. No. What are you, mental? Come on. That is so psychotic."
Are you a stereotypical Jewish mother?

"Oh my God. I talk to those kids so much. I hear s--- come out of my mouth. My mother's in my body and I can't take it. I said to Henry the other day, 'I hope you treat your teacher better than you treat me.' Oh my God! Where did that come from?"

If I'm not Jewish, am I going to get "25 Questions"?

"It really is a universal story of parent and child and acceptance and love and tragedy. It is a play and it's a story. If it was about an Irish guy or an Italian, no one would say, 'Oh you have to be Italian to appreciate this.' "

What are five questions you still have to ask your mom?

"Who's your favorite child? She'll say, 'I have no favorites.' She won't admit that my brother's her favorite. The thing I don't get from her is that she's proud of me. That's the thing I would love to hear — that 'I'm proud of you.' But that will never happen."
So what will your sons ask of their Jewish mother?

" 'Why are you so annoying? Why do you have to go away? Why do you have to work at night? Why do you have to be a comedian? Why do people have to stop and talk to you all the time?' They don't realize that when they get older, they're going to think I'm cool."

Do you think people stop to talk to you because you're just so tall.
"I really don't think that has anything to do with it."
Basketball ever cross your mind?

"I tried out in eighth grade. The coach told me I was too tall; it wouldn't be fair to the other players. I was the band nerd."

● Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tucson: Invisible Theatre presents Judy Gold starring in 25 QUESTIONS FOR A JEWISH MOTHER


Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 1:38 PM
Subject: Invisible Theatre presents Judy Gold starring in 25 QUESTIONS FOR A JEWISH MOTHER






25 Questions For a


A new comedy for anyone with a mother!


Written by Kate Moira Ryan with Judy Gold

Directed by Karen Kohlhaas


Through the generous support of Sonora Investment Management


WHEN:                       March 29, 2008 at 8:00 PM

                                    March 30, 2008 at 3:00 PM


WHERE:                     The Berger Performing Arts Center

                                    1200 W. Speedway Blvd

                                    On the campus of the AZ School for the Deaf & Blind


TICKETS:                  Ticket Price:  $42 per person

                                    Call (520) 882-9721 for reservations and information

                                    Discounts available for groups of 10 or more


RUSH TICKETS:       One half-hour prior to curtain for any scheduled performance, tickets are available for half price – subject to availability


RUNNING TIME:       80 minutes with no intermission


JUDY’S BOOK::        Judy’s book, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, will be available for purchase at both performances


After traveling across the country and interviewing more than 50 Jewish mothers of all different ages, ethnicities and occupations, Emmy Award-winning comedian JUDY GOLD finally has the answers that every mother wants to know.  Written by KATE MOIRA RYAN with JUDY GOLD, 25 QUESTIONS FOR A JEWISH MOTHER is Gold’s positively hilarious journey about becoming a parent, while learning to be a daughter to a nagging Jewish mother of her own.  The end result is a moving and humorous portrait of what makes a Jewish mother, a Jewish mother.



JUDY GOLD received a 2006 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance for 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother.  In addition, the show recently won a GLAAD Award for “Outstanding New York Theater: Broadway and Off Broadway.”  She is the host of HBO’s “At the Multiplex with Judy Gold,” and also hosted Comedy Central’s “100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time,” and the GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS, which aired on LOGO and VH1.  Most recently, Gold co-hosted ABC’s “The View.”  Her most recent TV specials include a half-hour comedy special for LOGO and she is featured in the HBO documentary, “All Aboard.” Her stand-up specials include “Comedy Central Presents: Judy Gold,” Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd Stands Up,” and Judy’s HBO half-hour special, for which she received a Cable Ace Award. Gold was most recently seen in the smash hit film The Aristocrats. Gold won two Emmy Awards for writing and producing “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” She was nominated twice for The American Comedy Award’s funniest female stand-up. She has also appeared on “Law & Order,” “Law & Order SVU,” “Sex and The City,” “The View,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and “The Conan O’Brien Show” to name a few. Gold lives in New York City with her two children, Henry and Ben. She frequently tours theatres and comedy clubs around the country and she talks to her mother at least once a day. Her CD, “Judith’s Roommate Had a Baby” is available now.” Check out


.KATE MOIRA RYAN (Playwright): 25 QUESTIONS FOR A JEWISH MOTHER was written with and for Judy Gold which won the 2007 GLAAD Media Award for best play and was nominated for a Drama Desk (best actress). A book based on the play was released by Hyperion/Voice this May and was nominated for a Quill Award in the category of humor. Her play OTMA was produced at Atlantic Theatre, the Yakaterinburg Youth Theatre, Vassar College and by the Lake George Theatre Project. It is published by Playscripts. Her adaptation of Dorothy Allison's bestseller CAVEDWELLER was produced by New York Theatre Workshop (director Michael Greif) and is published by Dramatists Play Service. In the fall, her adaptation written with Linda S. Chapman of Ann Bannon's BEEBO BRINKER CHRONICLES will open off-Broadway and will be directed by Leigh Silverman. She is a recent recipient of the Alfred E. Sloan Fellowship from Ensemble Studio Theatre and she was the Arnold Weinberger Playwright in Residence at the University of Cincinnati. She is an alumna of New Dramatists and received her MFA from Columbia University.


KAREN KOHLHAAS (Director) is a founding member of New York’s Atlantic Theater Company. Off-Broadway and regional directing credits include Kate Moira Ryan’s OTMA (Atlantic), Harold Pinter’s The Hothouse (Atlantic), Keith Reddin’s Synergy (Alley Theatre, world premiere), Frame 312 (Atlantic, NY premiere), David Mamet’s Boston Marriage (Public Theater, NY premiere), The Water Engine (Atlantic), and three productions of An AdultEvening of Shel Silverstein in New York and Sydney. She has also directed at Atlantic Stage Two, Naked Angels, New Dramatists, NYU mainstage, the Kraine, Expanded Arts, and the 4th Street Theatre. Karen is a senior teacher at the Atlantic Acting School, author of The Monologue Audition: A Practical Guide for Actors, and director/producer of the DVD, The Monologue Audition Video. She maintains a website for actors:



“Fiercely funny, honest and moving!”

                                    - The New York Times


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Friday, March 14, 2008

Theater worth catching. | ®

Theater worth catching.

On stage

Tucson, Arizona Published: 03.14.2008

"If you've watched HBO, you've likely seen Judy Gold. She's the tall comedian with the glasses who interviews moviegoers to fill airtime between shows. She also won an Emmy for her work on 'The Rosie O'Donnell Show.'

She's very funny. And she's headed our way. Invisible Theatre brings Gold here to perform her solo off-Broadway show, '25 Questions for a Jewish Mother,' taken from Gold's book of the same name. It consists of interviews she conducted across the country with mothers of varying ages, ethnicities and occupations.

She'll perform at 8 p.m. March 29 and 3 p.m. March 30 at The Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. There will be an interview with Gold in next Friday's Accent, but we wanted to alert you early in case you want to get tickets — we suspect this will be a hot one. It's written by Kate Moira Ryan with Gold, and directed by Karen Kohlhaas. Call 882-9721 to get your tickets."

– Kathleen Allen

Monday, March 3, 2008

The 'Natives' are restless | ®

The 'Natives' are restless ®

The 'Natives' are restless
Tucson, Arizona Published: 02.29.2008

Stage shows to see.

● Treat yourself to an evening full of laughs with Invisible Theatre's production of "Natives." The comedy by Janet Neipris is about a divorcee with grown children. As she plans a summer trip to France, her children all show up unexpectedly at her New York apartment, putting a bit of a crimp in her style. Gail Fitzhugh directs. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through March 9 at 1400 N. First Ave. Tickets are $22-$25. 882-9721.