One man, so many laughs
BEAVER CREEK – Steve Soloman may not be the only one whose family has driven him into therapy, but he’s the only one funny enough to turn his experiences into a one-man comedy act.The show’s title, “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy,” says it all. Soloman’s one-man comedy plays the Vilar Center for the Arts for two nights over the holiday weekend, today and Monday.
“We’re really looking forward to Steve’s show,” said Vilar Director Kris Sabel. “It’s not often that we have the opportunity to present straight theater at our venue. When we find a show that offers the intimate experience of one-man storytelling and incorporates it into an audience-friendly comedy, we jump at the chance to book it. ‘My Mother’s Italian’ has been packing houses around the country and getting a lot of critical praise at the same time.”Solomon wasn’t always an actor. As a matter of fact, he was a late bloomer, spending much of his adult life as an administrator for the Long Island, N.Y., school district. Known as a real-life version of “Welcome Back Kotter,” Soloman always peppered his teaching with sound effects, humor and different dialects. (He does a wicked impression of a Chinese delivery man.) Soon, he decided that life on the stage was his calling, and he packed up and hit the road.
“I was sick and tired of the regular paychecks, the prestige and the educational glamour of an administrator’s life, so I decided to get on the road and make 30 dollars a show,” Solomon quipped.Solomon’s latest project, “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy” is a semi-autobiographical portrait of his family, growing up in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Each character in this eccentric family is lovingly played out with striking accuracy and outrageous anecdotes.
Everyday occurrences in this multi-ethnic family become the stuff of classic storytelling: checking into the airport, getting pulled over by the cops, bringing a girl home to meet mom, ordering a tuna fish sandwich, learning about the birds and the bees on the playground. Each episode bringing laugh after laugh. “… I had a headache from laughing so hard,” said theater critic Denis Hamill from the New York Daily News. And Solomon’s contemporary George Carlin said, “Very funny stuff.”Tickets to “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m In Therapy” for Sunday and Monday nights are available at the Vilar Center Box Office by calling 845.TIXS (8497) or by logging on to http://www.vilarcenter.org.