LGBTQ Magazine

Theater Review: The Judy Show

Posted on the 19 November 2011 by Starofdavida
Theater Review: The Judy ShowI recently saw the off-Broadwayplay The Judy Show. An absolutely hilarious one-person show starring comedianJudy Gold, it’s all about Gold’s life as a lesbian and a Jew, and her quest toget a sitcom on TV featuring a family with gay parents.
I totally loved this play. I sawit with my mom, and the two of us were literally clutching our sides withlaughter. While I would have really appreciated if she specifically identifiedwith the feminist movement, it’s clear that Gold does support the ideals ofwomen’s rights. She’s also extremely active in gay rights (a feminist cause),hosting the Sirius/XM weekly radio show “Hatched By Two Chicks” and the GLAADMedia Awards, as well as performing on a half-hour comedy special for LOGO,among other activities.
In the play, she talks aboutgrowing up Jewish in predominantly Gentile Clark, New Jersey. Being Jewish is aclear part of Gold’s identity: she usually describes herself as a “6”3 lesbianJew.” (I appreciated her usage of the word Jew as opposed to Jewish,since people are often reluctant to label themselves so blatantly as Jews.) Alot of her jokes are about her stereotypically Jewish mother, obsessed with herchildren and the state of Jewry. A lot of my own mother’s idiosyncrasies aresimilar to what Gold was describing, although I never realized they were Jewishmother things. (I thought everyone took the soap and shampoos from hotels! Imeans, it’s just there for the taking…and doesn’t everyone look at lists ofnames and point out the Jewish ones?) Gold had her rebellious moments, though:in high school, she ate cheeseburgers, knowing that her parents would behorrified at this blatant disregard of Jewish law. She now calls herselfobservant, which I think is beautiful. I know many LGBT Jews feel it’s impossibleto be religious and gay at the same time, and the fact that Gold is able to doboth really gives me hope.
Another thing I found interestingwas that Gold didn’t talk about coming out as gay to her friends. I think it’sgreat that she never felt a need to announce to the world that she’s a lesbian- I mean, do straight people have to tell everyone their sexuality? Gold didstruggle with telling her parents, though. Her father knew she was gay, but shewas never able to tell him directly, and she deeply regretted it when he died.She eventually told her mother and sister. While it took her mom a while to getused to the idea (she originally told people that Gold’s “roommate” had a babyand she adopted him), she came around.
The whole premise of The JudyShow is that Gold wants a sitcom about her family called The Judy Show:a divorced lesbian couple with two sons. Gold was fascinated with TV during herchildhood and adolescence: in the play, she explains how shows like The Jeffersons,Maude, Three’s Company, and The Brady Bunch shaped herviews on the world and her expectations for life (which, unfortunately, werenot always met). She went to several networks and pitched the idea, but wasrepeatedly turned down, even by LOGO. OWN actually began filming, but thendecided to nix the show because of the controversy it would stir (something thefinancially-suffering network feels it can’t afford).
I do find it interesting thatGold has faced so much opposition and disinterest to her idea. Modern Family,which has won and been nominated for dozens of prestigious awards, has a gay couple with an adopted child; Willand Grace, which was also wildly successful,featured two gay men and their hags. Why is the concept of a whole showcentered around a family with two mommies so threatening to TV producers?Shouldn’t TV shows reflect the reality of the world, which now includesfamilies with gay parents?
Whatever the case, I look forwardto the day when kids - hopefully my own - can watch The Judy Show on TVevery week on prime time.
Get your tickets fast - TheJudy Show closes on November 27!

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