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Still, an examination of a few less typical early episodes of WireTap in which Jewishness figures more prominently--not just as an offhand reference or two, or in the general sense of a shlemiel or nebbish protagonist, but as a significant element of a piece's plot or argument--suggests that it is implausible that Goldstein chooses not to translate or to contextualize Jewish references in his work because he expects all his listeners to be knowledgeable about Jews.
The predominant form of Israeli humor during its first five decades was satire, the counterpart and foil of shlemiel literature and the most scathing response to an imperfect fit between dream and reality.
That avant-garde pitch didn't go over well in Boca Raton, where Shlemiel tanked while touring "a circuit with bagels and yuks and Mitzi Gaynor," recalls Gordan, an auteur choreographer/director from New York's performance art and dance world.
When Shlemiel arrives back in Chelm, he's convinced that his wife, children and neighbors must be impostors, a suspicion that they bemusedly (and amusingly) reciprocate.
This was the brief period when the Jew became the modern Everyman, everyone's favorite victim, shlemiel and secular saint.
Leo Rosten, the writer, scholar and language maven who introduced millions of Americans to the deep lexical pleasures of chutzpah and shlemiel and kibitz and nosh, died Wednesday at his home in Manhattan.
A self-styled shlemiel, he also becomes obsessed with Gabi, whose love-making groans--Oy oy oy, in Shwartz's humorous hearing of it--he can hear through the paper-thin wall that his apartment shares with hers.
In August, Vontress leaves New York for San Francisco to play one of the five sages of Chelm in Shlemiel the First; he originated the role at A.
He is on one level the Holy Shlemiel in the American marketplace, a semi-satiric figure in Bellovian extremis, a wholly good person faced with the inhuman choice between making a killing and being killed.
To anyone who's followed the evolution of his long career, it doesn't seem the least bit odd that Gordon recently staged a play by Frisch or that he directed and choreographed a dementedly zany new musical, Shlemiel the First, for Cambridge, Mass.
He showed that although Kafka described himself as a helpless shlemiel on the job, in fact he was a superachiever: He used bureaucratic procedures to transform the Czech system of workmen's compensation into a system of accident prevention; he learned how mines and factories worked from the inside, fought the bosses, forced big changes, helped save thousands of workers' lives; he was probably the inventor of OSHA, and one of the most creative bureaucrats of the century.
International and domestic tours produced by three tracked theatres (Alley Theatre's presentation at the Venice Biennale of Tony Kushner's epic Angels in America and Robert Wilson's version of Hamlet, which went on to tour Europe; Goodman Theatre's European tour of Peter Sellars' production of Merchant of Venice; and American Repertory Theatre's seven-city tour of Shlemiel the First) account for the bulk of this increase.
Granted, no other actor could have played Cliff Stern; and yet, here in particular, it's jarring to see America's most successful independent filmmaker take on the role of existential shlemiel.
Right at the start, Jesus helps the Romans crucify some shlemiel, and the blood hits him smack in the eye.
In one of his monologues, Gray describes himself to a Hollywood producer as "a Huck Finn-Candide-type who gets into all these weird situations," and while this is clearly a joke, it's hard to avoid the feeling that, on some level, Gray really is trying to universalize his shlemiel persona--to make us see him as the representative white middle-class American male of his times, a mythic innocent.
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