At Ethical NYC September 21 & 22: Laughs, dreams and cold beet soup in the cradle of American comedy!
Catskills native Warren Epstein’s acclaimed one-man show comes to NYC! From screaming, maniacal chefs to the Kings and Queens of Stand-up, Borsht Belted conjures the sights, smells, and snickers in a place that still resonates in our collective funny bone.
Epstein channels Rodney Dangerfield, Woody Allen, Jack Benny, and other humor pioneers as he recreates his childhood memories from the famous Catskill resort area in New York. His poignant recreation of Jimmy Grecco–“King of the Catskills”–gives us a memorable portrait of a great comic and the incredible era of American Comedy that produced him.
Epstein brings the Borscht Belt back to life in all its schtick-filled glory. You’ll smell the gefilte fish and laugh out a lung as you journey through the quirky bungalow colonies, smoky cocktail lounges, and majestic resorts that now exist only in memory.
Thursday, September 21 performance will be followed by a special talkback. Come share your Borscht Belt stories!
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Read about Borscht Belted at the Colorado Springs Indy!
“It’s funny about when you grow up in a place that’s unique,” Epstein says, “you think everything is entirely normal. So to me, Milton Berle playing on Saturday a few blocks from my house — that was just another Saturday night.” Milton Berle, along with comedians like Woody Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers and Marc Maron got their start in the Catskills resorts, where the Jewish population of New York would go to unwind. The Catskills comedy scene has long since died away, leaving empty hotels and a fading legacy. Epstein says: “I’m realizing that my memory and my experience, along with the historic significance of it, you know, it called me to do something theatrically about it.”
Channeling these comedians and his own memories of sneaking into comedy shows and working in famous hotels, Epstein has created a one-man show to honor both the famous and the forgotten Borscht Belt funnymen who changed the landscape of American comedy. The audience can look forward to meeting Jimmy Grecco, Epstein’s composite of the comedic personalities he knew and witnessed, who will narrate a journey through a formative piece of theatrical history. It’s an important story for Epstein to tell, and not just because it connects to his childhood. It connects to his heritage, and the shared heritage of many American Jews.
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