The Schmooze

'Jewtopia' Isn't the Jewish Utopia We Were Looking For

One of the toughest tickets on Broadway today is “Book of Mormon,” the hilarious spoof on the Church of Latter Day Saints. It is a hoot. But I distinctly remember how uncomfortable I was as I watched, even while laughing out loud.

My personal litmus test in these situations is, what if the writers were making fun of me? Would I still be laughing?

Those of you who want to find what it feels like when you’re the target of jokes need only attend a screening of “Jewtopia,” which opens in select cities around the country September 20. Based on the play of the same name it is a sad exercise in self-mockery that uses virtually every stereotype to ridicule Jewish characters.

Actually, they’re more like caricatures. There isn’t a full-blooded character to be found anywhere. If the script were written by non-Jews, the ADL would be screaming, and with good cause.

Writers Bryan Fogel (who also directed) and Sam Wolfson actually started out with a potentially engaging concept. Christian O’Connell, who is not Christian in name alone, dated a Jewish girl in college who made all decisions for him. She broke up with Chris at graduation when they were about to enter “the real world,” where, of course, she’d marry a Jew.

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'Jewtopia' Isn't the Jewish Utopia We Were Looking For

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