A Rabbi, a priest, a swami and a Republican walk into a bar.
A Rabbi, an Imam, a jeweler and Ava Gardner, wearing fishnets, walk into a bar.
A Rabbi, Berry Gordy, Ann Romney and Yo-Yo Ma, inexplicably carrying a Stradivarius, walk into a bar.
I defy you — any of you — to construct a joke that would fit the above four setups.
But the truth is, if you want to hear far better setups and far better punchlines, then Old Jews Telling Jokes, which has been announced for the Westside Theatre, opening May 20, is undoubtedly for you.
Here’s a little bit of the PR I received today on the show, courtesy of the good folks at Boneau Bryan-Brown:
Created by Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent, Old Jews Telling Jokes is directed by Marc Bruni and showcases five actors in a revue that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present. Think you’ve heard them all before? Not this way. The show also features comic songs — brand new and satisfyingly old — as well as tributes to some of the giants of the comedy world and to OldJewsTellingJokes.com, the website created by Sam Hoffman that inspired the show. If you’ve ever had a mother, visited a doctor, or walked into a bar with a priest, a rabbi and a frog — Old Jews Telling Jokes will sit in the dark, give you a second opinion, and ask you where you got that.
I am particularly intrigued by the fact that co-creator Okrent was, of course, the first public editor of The New York Times, a delicious and deliriously weird gig if ever there was one. Surely he must have lots and lots of Jewish jokes right at his disposal, right? Or, um, maybe not?
The cast is to be announced shortly.
UPDATE: The cast is announced! It includes: Bill Army, Marilyn Sokol (who I have always adored, and who I profiled for Back Stage back in 2003), Todd Susman, Audrey Lynn Weston and Lenny Wolpe.