Lessons learned amidst the laughs in Towle’s ‘Jewtopia’

2013-04-26T00:00:00Z Lessons learned amidst the laughs in Towle’s ‘Jewtopia’Tim Shellberg Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Marty Grubbs, director of Hammond’s Towle Theater’s production of “Jewtopia,” sees an important moral in his production of the acclaimed comedy.

“I feel like it’s disguising a lesson on tolerance,” he said. “It says that there’s a lot of people out there, and some of them have traditions that may seem different or strange, but that’s who they are and that’s what makes them a good people.”

Opening May 3 and running through May 19, “Jewtopia” tells the tale of two 30-something friends, Christian Chris O’Connell and Jewish Adam Lipschitz. Both aid each other in their individual quests to find and marry a Jewish woman.

Penned by Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson, “Jewtopia” made its debut in Los Angeles in 2003 before making its East Coast premiere off-Broadway a year later and enjoyed a three-plus year run. Fogel adapted his play for the big screen last year and included Wendie Malick, Jon Lovitz and Rita Wilson in its cast.

Towle Theater’s staging of “Jewtopia” marks its premiere in the region.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Grubbs said. “There’s a lot of really fun characters and the script is really good. It’s really well-written and, ultimately, it’s a really fun time … we kind of poke fun at everybody. There’s some fun references to the Asian community. There’s some fun references to the Catholic community, but it doesn’t do it in a way that’s offensive.”

Will Snyder from Chicago plays Lipschitz and Aaron Itzcak from St. John portrays O”Connell in Towle Theater’s “Jewtopia.” They are joined by Sabrina Conti from, Chicago, Schererville’s Dan Ball and Hammond’s Kevin Sherman, each playing multiple roles.

“The cast is amazing,” Grubbs said. “I’m very happy with the entire cast. (The rehearsals) have gone so well. We miss a lot of rehearsal time because we’re stopping to laugh. A lot of the stuff that's going on is just hilarious.”

Next up for Towle Theater is a production of “Brooklyn, the Musical,”  scheduled to open July 12.

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