One-man shows, while offering rewarding insights into individual experiences, can be painfully uncomfortable when they're also one-audience-member shows. Avoid theatrical awkwardness with the collective guarantee of today's Groupon. For $36, you get a ticket to Circumcise Me, Yisrael Campbell's one-man show at the Bleecker Street Theatre (a $74 value, including fees and tax). You must reserve your ticket at least three days in advance. The show runs through May 2, 2010, with shows on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursdays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 9 p.m., and Sundays at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Circumcise Me is the hilarious autobiographical story of Yisrael Campbell, born "Christopher Campbell" and raised in a Catholic family in Philadelphia. After struggling with substance abuse as a teenager, Campbell went sober, converted to Judaism, and eventually moved to Jerusalem. It's a powerful story packed with loads of laughs, with a title that will probably leave a lot of dudes shifting uncomfortably in their seats between chortles and chuckles. The show was written and is performed by Campbell, and it is directed by Sam Gold.
Circumcise Me is running at the intimate Bleecker Street Theatre. Get your ticket and enjoy an unorthodox comedy about one man's globetrotting journey from Reform to Conservative to Orthodox Judaism.
The New York Times says:
- His story, of a misspent, alcoholic youth and eventual conversion to Judaism not once but three times, is the stuff of shtick. And in Mr. Campbell’s genial and polished recounting it’s a tale well told...What elevates it beyond comedy routine is that, punch lines aside, this is Mr. Campbell’s life, and that his quest for a “relationship with God,” as he puts it, continues even after the house lights rise...Even so, “Circumcise Me,” featuring slides, home movies and snapshots, contains no preaching, and there are plenty of laughs: this is Jewish theater of the ecumenical, no-gentile-left-behind sort. – Daniel M. Gold
Readers of the New York Times give Circumcise Me four stars:
- This show marks the emergence of a distinctive new voice. His charisma and warmth make him endearing, his humor is highly original and rises above the norm. This is a breakthrough guy whose message inspires while entertaining. – Neal
- This is a truly real and honest story, and brilliantly told. Hysterically funny most of the time, poignant and plaintive at other moments. And a story you've never heard before... – Jean
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