Stars of David Doesn’t Shine at the Philadelphia Theatre Company

Among the only funny, theatrical moments in Stars of David, playing at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, happen on tv.  And television 40 years ago.  Archie Bunker stands the test of time with its original, cutting edge social satire.  But Stars of David a new musical adaptation based on the book, Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish and directed by Gordon Greenberg, delivers plenty of cliché and little entertainment.  

Conceived by Aaron Harnick, the musical takes Pogrebin’s interviews with famous Jews like Gloria Steinem, Aaron Sorkin, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and transforms them into songs by composers and lyricists.  Suffice it to say, I didn’t hear anyone leaving the theatre after the 90 minute production, humming any songs.   The cast, comprised of Nancy Balbirer, Alex Brightman, Joanna Glushak, Brad Oscar and Donna Vinnino, did its best to bring this banal material to life, but in the end it was the taped footage of All in the Family and Joan Rivers doing stand up that stole the show.

The rest of the Philadelphia Theatre Company‘s season looks far more promising with productions of The Mountaintop by Katori Hall and Seminar by Theresa Rebeck.  

For tickets: visit the PTC Book Office at 480 Broad Street, call 215 985-0420 or purchase online.

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