Orange County Theatre Reviews

(Courtesy of Playhouse Productions, Inc &  Michael D. Appleton) 

Written by Patrick Chavis 

One of the great things about theatre in comparison to other mediums of expression such as film or television is the egalitarianism of it.  If you have the talent and if you are creative enough to market it properly, the overhead in theatre is significantly less than its counterparts (there are exceptions of course). As I sat down to watch My Son the Waiter, A Jewish Tragedy, a show that is the same guy for an hour and 30 minutes telling me his story with nothing more than a chair and a table, I discovered I was laughing and enjoying myself the entire time. It just goes to show, sometimes all you need is one actor, a solid story, and you can make it work.  

My Son the Waiter is told by Brad Zimmerman in what appears to be a typical stand-up comedy club style, but it departs from your traditional standup in the precise way the show piggy backs off Zimmerman’s childhood and the 29 years of his life he spent as a waiter in New York. Zimmerman tells us his experiences with customers, women, his relationship with his father but most importantly, the effect his Jewish mother has had on his life.

While there are some theatrical moments throughout his storytelling, Zimmerman tends to dance between what feels like a standup comedy club night and a real personal tale about his life.  I realize a lot of comedians talk about their lives, but Zimmerman’s heavy focus on his mother and his days as a server set him apart. Did I get conned? Because it’s tough to make a distinction between this is a play told like a stand up, or if it’s a stand up with an ultra- thematic message. After thinking about it, it must be both.  

Brad Zimmerman is genuinely a funny guy and you can’t fake that, it comes across on stage and it becomes more than just a stand up.  Even though you might not be Jewish, I think most people can identify with familial pressure, and while it’s usually coming from a good place, how it can make you feel and effect the person you become.    

I can’t say this is the most “night at the theater” evening you’ll ever have,  I can assure you that there’s a funny guy with a hilarious story about his life waiting for you over at the Huntington Beach Library.   


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