A death in the family is sure to bring out the worst in people. It’s an unhappy truth, according to playwright Joshua Harmon, and he makes the most of it in his hilarious hit play “Bad Jews,” opening Wednesday, June 29, for a two-week run at the Red Barn Theatre in Key West. The play is the opening mainstage production of this year’s Summer Stage. Curtain is at 8 p.m.
The play stars Jessica Jackson, Kaleb Smith-Wood, Jeremy P. Hyatt and Lisa Elena Monda, veteran Key West actors recently seen in plays including “Last Night of Ballyhoo” and “The Lion in Winter.” It is helmed by Annie Miners in her directorial debut, and produced by Bob Bowersox for TheatreXP.
Harmon’s play is flat-out funny, from the opening lines to the final blackout, and the title aside, there’s nothing anti- Semitic about the story. While the two main characters — each powerful, opposing and unyielding to a fault — may be squaring off in a battle over a cherished Jewish family heirloom, broader issues of religious faith, cultural assimilation, and even the validity of one another’s romances are more central to the tale.
The New York Times said of the play, “… the best comedy of the season … it crackles with energy ….” The Boston Globe called it “… searingly funny ….” And the Chicago Tribune said “… savagely good comedy ….”
The play will run Wednesday through Sunday nights through July 10. Tickets are available by calling (302) 540-6102. Opening night is $35 and includes admittance to the catered after party with the cast and crew. Thursdays through Saturdays are $30. Sundays are $25. Special Season passes are also available for $55, which includes both mainstage productions (the second is the Pulitzer Prizewinning “Water by the Spoonful,” running July 20-31), and the one-night-only events. See keywestsummerstage.com for more information on all Summer Stage events. ¦