Samuel Garza Bernstein

Non-Registered Critics

If timing is everything with comedy Renée Taylor in My Life on a Diet is proof positive. This revival of her one-woman show, based on her 1986 memoir of the same title, is a master class in getting laughs. She takes sentences that wouldn't necessarily be funny on the page and makes them soar, most enduringly with a running callback joke about how her mother would introduce herself to celebrities, reaching for a handshake, saying, “I'm Frieda.” Not funny when I write it down, hysterical by the time Ms. Taylor says it for the fifth or sixth time. Even her pauses are genius. Especially her pauses...

My jaw ached at the end from laughing so much. After a standing ovation she got a little teary. “All the love you give me when you laugh,” she says, “I feel that love and give it back to you.” She is a Hebrew National Treasure.