The J.A.P. Show, Jewish American Princesses of Comedy
nytheatre.com review by Lisa Ferber
April 17, 2007
The ladies of The J.A.P. Show, Jewish American Princesses of Comedy are funny, bawdy, sassy, wacky, smart, and most of all, chutzpadik.
This show is a tribute to gutsy Jewish comediennes. From the press I'd expected a history of Jewish female comedy, but really it's more a standup show with a few nice tributes thrown in. The comediennes here, Cathy Ladman, Cory Kahaney, Jackie Hoffman, and the so-funny-oh-my-God-such-delivery-such-timing Jessica Kirson (who all performed on the night I came—in the program, we also have listings for Sherry Davey and Julie Goldman) do group Jewish-joke telling as well as solo routines. In between, they pay tribute to legends Belle Barth, Jean Carroll, Totie Fields, Betty Walker, and Pearl Williams.
A word here about the title: It almost made me not come to see this. Yeah yeah, some people like to make a derogatory term their own in order to own it, and there's even a little speech later in the show reminding us to be proud of that. It might work for some people, but for me...not so much. The show deals with so many things: weight, food, sex, marriage, that the JAP thing just isn't necessary.
So, rant over, this 90-minute show goes by quickly. I actually would have been happy to see it run longer, so I could get even more history. I know it's impossible to fit all the great Jewish comediennes into one show, but as a girl who grew up worshiping Gilda Radner, and as an adult, Fran Drescher, I know there are just a heap of women out there who could have been honored by these talented gals.
Jessica Kirson is a very, very funny woman. A word I might use is: relentless. Another is: confident. Let's see...ballsy, direct, surprising, hilarious.
The women tell such jokes as: "What do you get when you cross a Jewish American princess with a computer?" "A computer that never goes down." And, "How does a man get a Jewish woman to scream during sex?" "He wipes his d—k on the drapes." This from Cathy Ladman: "I was watching the History Channel. They were saying Hitler and Eva Braun had a good relationship. Ya gotta wonder, who was she going out with before?" From Jessica Kirson: "Have you ever noticed that when people are singing 'Happy Birthday', how miserable and depressed they look?"
I could give you all the jokes. Or, you could go watch these gals deliver them the way they should be delivered.