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Review: Bad Jews at Studio Theatre

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I love going to the theatre. Despite how busy I am, I make time to see a play every month or two. Even when the play isn’t great—some can be too avant garde—I never regret going. It’s a welcome distraction—and each play offers its own unique insight into humanity.

One of my favorite perks of being a Bitch is access to media previews at some of Washington’s best theatres. This includes the beautiful, historical Studio Theatre, which is conveniently a block from my apartment. Conveniently for most of you, Studio serves wine in the theatre and offers $25 tickets for those under the age of 30.

Laura Lapidus, Maggie Wilder, and Rowan Vickers in Bad Jews at Studio Theatre. Photo by Allie Dearie.
Laura Lapidus, Maggie Wilder, and Rowan Vickers in Bad Jews at Studio Theatre. Photo by Allie Dearie.

Last Saturday, I experienced the opening night of Bad Jews, an in-your-face comedy that’s gotten quite a bit of positive national press. Bad Jews played at Studio Theatre last winter, and the theatre arranged a return engagement based on popular demand. I hadn’t seen it, so I was excited to take in a short comedic play on a Saturday night.

Perfect for the holidays, this play is about a dysfunctional modern Jewish family. The plot centers on three cousins battling for their grandfather’s heirloom the day after his funeral. The entire play takes place in a Manhattan apartment.

At its base, the play is about family, faith, and legacy. But there are a few things that make it great. First, everyone inevitably sides with one of the three cousins. With the quality acting, strong personas of the characters, and vulgar honesty of the narrative, you become emotionally invested in one character. Personally, I just hated Daphna. That Bitch was insufferable. Others like her, but loathe Liam. You have to pick your poison.


Second, it’s brusque and hilarious—the crowd was literally laughing for the vast majority of the show and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud myself. You’ll find yourself thinking “Oh my god! I can’t believe she did that!”

Lastly, it’s real. And, like many people, I find things to be funny when it’s absolutely true and likely inappropriate. And, one of the only times people really say what they mean is in front of their families. You’ll laugh mostly because you’ll recognize oh-so-humorous truths throughout the play—and perhaps see a little bit of yourself, or someone you know, in the characters.

So, rather than dropping $25 on drinks on 14th Street, or before dropping $25 on drinks, spend the same amount at Studio for a good laugh that will take you into the holidays and help you survive that family time.

Bad Jews plays at Studio Theatre through January 3. Tickets are $45, or $25 for those under 30 with a sign up for the Studio 25 Club (membership is free).

Studio Theatre
1501 14th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C.
(202) 232- 7267

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