THE JUDY SHOW- MY LIFE AS A SITCOM
BY KATE MOIRA RYAN AND JUDY GOLD
DR2 Union Square
Theater J, Washington DC
The Geffen Playhouse
New York Times Review:
"Near the end of her infectiously nostalgic memoir with music, “The Judy Show: My Life as a Sitcom,” the writer and stand-up comicJudy Gold gives a shout-out to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for championing the legislation that allows her to marry her therapist girlfriend in New York State. But the lack of acceptance in Burbank, Calif., still bothers her.
Despite numerous network pitches over the years, Ms. Gold has never landed the gig she really wants, which is starring in her own television show about being a 6-foot-3 Jewish lesbian mother of two on the Upper West Side. She came close when OWN — Oprah Winfrey’s network — picked up her idea as a reality show, but that balloon burst during preproduction as the show was dropped because of budget cuts.
Still, if “The Judy Show,” running at the DR2 Theater, is not quite the realization of Ms. Gold’s lifelong dream, it’s a highly entertaining consolation prize for the rest of us.
The set makes no secret of Ms. Gold’s enduring obsession. The walls and ceiling of the playing space are a collage of title cards from TV chestnuts spanning the 1970s to the early ’90s, while a white front door evokes every suburban home of every American sitcom family, from the Bunkers to the Bradys to the Barones.
In a manner that agreeably juggles deadpan self-deprecation, brash caricature, wry observation and emotional candor, Ms. Gold explains that she grew up addicted to television. She outlines the ways in which her life has mirrored or diverged from the role models of her favorite shows in a buoyant 80-minute monologue written with Kate Moira Ryan and directed by Amanda Charlton.
The parallels between real life and television life are sharper in the childhood years than in adulthood, but Ms. Gold sticks to the program by consistently viewing her family and herself as characters denied their rightful place in the sitcom firmament. And she warmly acknowledges that while not having Shirley Partridge as a mother was a disappointment, her own mom has been the source of her choicest material.
Just one quibble: How can a Jewish comedian do a show about ’70s television and neglect to kneel at the shrine of “Rhoda”?"