Bad Jews

Critics

LemonMeter

97 %

Reviews: 17

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

A savagely hilarious comedy about family, faith and legacy. A beloved grandfather has died and a treasured family heirloom with religious significance is up for grabs — but who's the most deserving? Bossy, overbearing, self-declared “super-Jew” Daphna? Her wealthy cousin Liam, just returned from skiing with his shiksa girlfriend, Melody? Or Jonah, Liam's younger brother, who finds himself in the impossible position of peacemaker as the two rivals argue, insult and try to outwit each other to the bitter, hilarious end? The New York Times declared Bad Jews a “Critic's Pick… the best comedy of the season,” while the New York Post called it “delicious, nasty fun… a smart, divisive conversation starter.” Nominated for Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and John Gassner awards. April 21 – June 17: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with four additional weeknight performances on Wed., May 9; Thurs., May 17; Wed., May 30; and Thurs., June 14, all at 8 p.m. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025; The third Friday of every month is wine night at the Odyssey: enjoy complimentary wine and snacks and mingle with the cast after the show. For reservations and information, call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com.

Leave a comment

Reviews

"FUNNY, POIGNANT, BITTER, BITING, AND INTESELY RELATABLE, the richly human, insanely provocative battle of the chai also brings home the horrors of the Holocaust, the importance of loyalty, the sting of betrayal, and the power of words… a gem"

sweet - Genie Davis - Diversions LA - ...read full review


"Unquestionably, the high-powered and high-octane family-fireworks affair of “Bad Jews” is compelling every minute of the way, accruing momentum at a feverish pace that elicits not just laughter, but brings to light questions about religious and cultural identity in a world that is becoming more globalized. In what is a credit to Harmon, Resnick, and the cast, the characters are multilayered, in the sense that there are takeaways from each that we can both agree and disagree on. There is no saint in “Bad Jews,” and that's what makes it a rivetingly human story."

sweet - Imaan Jalali - LA Excites - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"If it takes chutzpah to title a play Bad Jews, it takes even more talent to write a play as remarkable as Bad Jews turns out to be. Joshua Harmon possesses both in equal measure, and Odyssey audiences can count themselves lucky that his Bad Jews is in good hands indeed."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


"There is genius in playwright Joshua Harmon's "Bad Jews," now playing at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble. A well-crafted play that is well-produced, extremely well-acted and superbly directed. It was also hard to watch."

sweet-sour - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


"For those who haven't seen it, it's about two millennial Jewish cousins treating each other badly, in a dispute over who gets to inherit a token from their late grandfather's tragic history. The two of them articulate contrasting views on a cultural and religious spectrum that could easily resonate with non-Jews from many other cultures. Two other characters -a mostly passive observer and a blonde non-Jew who more or less represents "the other" here - also contribute to pivotal moments in the conversation. Director Dana Resnick keeps Harmon's pot boiling."

sweet - Don Shirley - LA Observed - ...read full review


Joan Alperin
""Bad Jews", directed brilliantly by Dana Resnick, is a theatre experience for anyone that has a family or simply just wants to have a great time watching some excellent performers take on thought-provoking issues with wonderful caustic humor."

sweet - Joan Alperin - The Los Angeles Beat - ...read full review


"The 90-minute play – no intermission –  runs until June 17 and there are many layers of it so it's possible to see it more than once and get different sensations out of it... Even if you are not Jewish, I urge you to see it not once, but several times."

sweet - Serita Stevens - LA Splash Magazine - ...read full review


"Director Dana Resnick delivers a comically acute production that goes gleefully over-the-top yet remains authentic. Deutsch and James are gloriously ill-tempered in their high-decibel exchanges, while Hood and Rogers are hilarious in their less showy turns."

sweet - F. Kathleen Foley - Los Angeles Times - ...read full review


"Wicked and provocative, "Bad Jews" successfully unmasks raw family relationships with foolproof humor."

sweet - Shelby Corley - USC Annenberg Media - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"Directed with crackling energy by Dana Resnick at the Odyssey Theatre, BAD JEWS opens the evening after Poppy's funeral, a beloved family patriarch who survived the Holocaust, BWW Review: BAD JEWS Centers on a Devastatingly Funny Battle of Old Testament Proportionshiding his most precious gold possession under his tongue for two years. Now that he is gone, a family battle to inherit the precious keepsake is about to take place between the ever-talking, self-centered Daphna Feygenbaum (Jeanette Deutsch), and her cousins Jonah (Austin Rogers) and Liam Haber (Noah James). Their ensuing battle pits her strong will against Jonah's gentle soul and Liam's overly-educated, brash intellect, muted only by Liam's shiksa (Yiddish for a non-Jewish woman) girlfriend Melody (Lila Hood, a seemingly bubble-headed, blue-eyed blonde) whose heart is open to allowing each to have their say, BWW Review: BAD JEWS Centers on a Devastatingly Funny Battle of Old Testament Proportions, inadvertently setting off the ensuing firestorm for possession."

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


"Director, Dana Resnick keeps the dialogue-heavy piece moving at a clip. The play runs 95 minutes but flies by, while never losing your interest.... “Bad Jews” is a powerful, impressive play that will stay with you long after the curtain comes down. I'm already looking forward to revisiting it again before it closes in June."

sweet - Peter Foldy - Hollywood Revealed - ...read full review


Dan Berkowitz
"The Bad Jews of "Bad Jews" may be bad Jews, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're bad company. Let me revise that. If you found yourself trapped in a room with any of these people in real life – including the one person who can't be a bad Jew because she isn't a Jew at all – you would most likely find yourself, depending on your temperament, either racing out the door, screaming and tearing your hair, or desperately looking for a weapon."

sweet - Dan Berkowitz - The Los Angeles Post - ...read full review


"“Bad Jews” is an amusing, amazing journey, clearly written from the heart and soul of Joshua Harmon. Another fine example of the great work and gems presented at the Odyssey. The play definitely comes from a place of fun and love and art."

sweet - Bonnie Priever - ...read full review


"Dana Resnick's direction and the cast's portrayal of these clashing but interconnected personalities make for a powerful production that cleverly employs humor to address touchy topics many of us are familiar with. - RECOMMENDED"

sweet - Lara J. Altunian - Stage Raw - ...read full review


"A dip in an acid-laced bubble bath, Joshua Harmon's effervescently corrosive comedy about a fanatical Jewish ideologue and her more secular-minded cousin's dispute over a religious artifact left behind by their Holocaust survivor grandfather receives a blissfully high-decibel staging from director Dana Resnick and a pitch-perfect cast. Harmon's brilliantly caustic play frames serious issues of Jewish identity within a breathtaking blitzkrieg of invective guaranteed to make your eardrums smolder."

sweet - F. Kathleen Foley - Los Angeles Times - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"Bad Jews suggests that there is a pluralism of bad Jews here: It's not just the intermarrying Liam, and not just Daphna who makes no secret of despising the “stranger” Melody, and perhaps it includes Jonah as well, who resents being placed in the middle of this fight to the death and who indifferently expresses no claim on the item of jewelry in question until he is finally forced to choose. Curiously, in terms of Jewish values of tolerance and acceptance, maybe it's Melody, stemming from many generations of Northern Europeans of different nationalities who settled in Delaware, who, although she has her own phobias, comes off the best! The particular vs. universal dialectic plays out in almost every culture in similar ways: Indigenous peoples trying to preserve their identity against assimilation by majority encroachment; Europeans raising questions about welcoming war refugees—Jews, Syrians, Muslims; Make America Great Again, translating into racist, misogynist, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ policies."

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


Rob Stevens
"Harmon has written some tremendous dialogue while Resnick has cast well and directed with a sure hand. Bad Jews is a rollicking good time in the theatre and a real blessing if you don't have to go home to a similar family."

sweet - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


"FUNNY, POIGNANT, BITTER, BITING, AND INTESELY RELATABLE, the richly human, insanely provocative battle of the chai also brings home the horrors of the Holocaust, the importance of loyalty, the sting of betrayal, and the power of words… a gem"

sweet - Genie Davis - Diversions LA - ...read full review


"Unquestionably, the high-powered and high-octane family-fireworks affair of “Bad Jews” is compelling every minute of the way, accruing momentum at a feverish pace that elicits not just laughter, but brings to light questions about religious and cultural identity in a world that is becoming more globalized. In what is a credit to Harmon, Resnick, and the cast, the characters are multilayered, in the sense that there are takeaways from each that we can both agree and disagree on. There is no saint in “Bad Jews,” and that's what makes it a rivetingly human story."

sweet - Imaan Jalali - LA Excites - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"If it takes chutzpah to title a play Bad Jews, it takes even more talent to write a play as remarkable as Bad Jews turns out to be. Joshua Harmon possesses both in equal measure, and Odyssey audiences can count themselves lucky that his Bad Jews is in good hands indeed."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


"There is genius in playwright Joshua Harmon's "Bad Jews," now playing at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble. A well-crafted play that is well-produced, extremely well-acted and superbly directed. It was also hard to watch."

sweet-sour - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


"For those who haven't seen it, it's about two millennial Jewish cousins treating each other badly, in a dispute over who gets to inherit a token from their late grandfather's tragic history. The two of them articulate contrasting views on a cultural and religious spectrum that could easily resonate with non-Jews from many other cultures. Two other characters -a mostly passive observer and a blonde non-Jew who more or less represents "the other" here - also contribute to pivotal moments in the conversation. Director Dana Resnick keeps Harmon's pot boiling."

sweet - Don Shirley - LA Observed - ...read full review


Joan Alperin
""Bad Jews", directed brilliantly by Dana Resnick, is a theatre experience for anyone that has a family or simply just wants to have a great time watching some excellent performers take on thought-provoking issues with wonderful caustic humor."

sweet - Joan Alperin - The Los Angeles Beat - ...read full review


"The 90-minute play – no intermission –  runs until June 17 and there are many layers of it so it's possible to see it more than once and get different sensations out of it... Even if you are not Jewish, I urge you to see it not once, but several times."

sweet - Serita Stevens - LA Splash Magazine - ...read full review


"Director Dana Resnick delivers a comically acute production that goes gleefully over-the-top yet remains authentic. Deutsch and James are gloriously ill-tempered in their high-decibel exchanges, while Hood and Rogers are hilarious in their less showy turns."

sweet - F. Kathleen Foley - Los Angeles Times - ...read full review


"Wicked and provocative, "Bad Jews" successfully unmasks raw family relationships with foolproof humor."

sweet - Shelby Corley - USC Annenberg Media - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"Directed with crackling energy by Dana Resnick at the Odyssey Theatre, BAD JEWS opens the evening after Poppy's funeral, a beloved family patriarch who survived the Holocaust, BWW Review: BAD JEWS Centers on a Devastatingly Funny Battle of Old Testament Proportionshiding his most precious gold possession under his tongue for two years. Now that he is gone, a family battle to inherit the precious keepsake is about to take place between the ever-talking, self-centered Daphna Feygenbaum (Jeanette Deutsch), and her cousins Jonah (Austin Rogers) and Liam Haber (Noah James). Their ensuing battle pits her strong will against Jonah's gentle soul and Liam's overly-educated, brash intellect, muted only by Liam's shiksa (Yiddish for a non-Jewish woman) girlfriend Melody (Lila Hood, a seemingly bubble-headed, blue-eyed blonde) whose heart is open to allowing each to have their say, BWW Review: BAD JEWS Centers on a Devastatingly Funny Battle of Old Testament Proportions, inadvertently setting off the ensuing firestorm for possession."

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


"Director, Dana Resnick keeps the dialogue-heavy piece moving at a clip. The play runs 95 minutes but flies by, while never losing your interest.... “Bad Jews” is a powerful, impressive play that will stay with you long after the curtain comes down. I'm already looking forward to revisiting it again before it closes in June."

sweet - Peter Foldy - Hollywood Revealed - ...read full review


Dan Berkowitz
"The Bad Jews of "Bad Jews" may be bad Jews, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're bad company. Let me revise that. If you found yourself trapped in a room with any of these people in real life – including the one person who can't be a bad Jew because she isn't a Jew at all – you would most likely find yourself, depending on your temperament, either racing out the door, screaming and tearing your hair, or desperately looking for a weapon."

sweet - Dan Berkowitz - The Los Angeles Post - ...read full review


"“Bad Jews” is an amusing, amazing journey, clearly written from the heart and soul of Joshua Harmon. Another fine example of the great work and gems presented at the Odyssey. The play definitely comes from a place of fun and love and art."

sweet - Bonnie Priever - ...read full review


"Dana Resnick's direction and the cast's portrayal of these clashing but interconnected personalities make for a powerful production that cleverly employs humor to address touchy topics many of us are familiar with. - RECOMMENDED"

sweet - Lara J. Altunian - Stage Raw - ...read full review


"A dip in an acid-laced bubble bath, Joshua Harmon's effervescently corrosive comedy about a fanatical Jewish ideologue and her more secular-minded cousin's dispute over a religious artifact left behind by their Holocaust survivor grandfather receives a blissfully high-decibel staging from director Dana Resnick and a pitch-perfect cast. Harmon's brilliantly caustic play frames serious issues of Jewish identity within a breathtaking blitzkrieg of invective guaranteed to make your eardrums smolder."

sweet - F. Kathleen Foley - Los Angeles Times - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"Bad Jews suggests that there is a pluralism of bad Jews here: It's not just the intermarrying Liam, and not just Daphna who makes no secret of despising the “stranger” Melody, and perhaps it includes Jonah as well, who resents being placed in the middle of this fight to the death and who indifferently expresses no claim on the item of jewelry in question until he is finally forced to choose. Curiously, in terms of Jewish values of tolerance and acceptance, maybe it's Melody, stemming from many generations of Northern Europeans of different nationalities who settled in Delaware, who, although she has her own phobias, comes off the best! The particular vs. universal dialectic plays out in almost every culture in similar ways: Indigenous peoples trying to preserve their identity against assimilation by majority encroachment; Europeans raising questions about welcoming war refugees—Jews, Syrians, Muslims; Make America Great Again, translating into racist, misogynist, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ policies."

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


Rob Stevens
"Harmon has written some tremendous dialogue while Resnick has cast well and directed with a sure hand. Bad Jews is a rollicking good time in the theatre and a real blessing if you don't have to go home to a similar family."

sweet - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review