Review: Steve Solomon's comedy is ‘Therapy’

Steve Solomon is no Eddie Izzard, or Sacha Baron Cohen, or even Woody Allen, for that matter … maybe a low-rent Billy Crystal?

OK, so he’s not edgy. That doesn’t take away from the fact that his one-man show, “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy” packs some laughs.

Even the name of the show suggests he’ll be serving up jokes as old as the sun. But he delivers them with such nice comic timing and low-key good nature, you can’t help but like the guy.

A hit off-Broadway in New York and now onstage at San Francisco’s Marines Memorial Theatre, Solomon’s show couldn’t quite be called a theatrical production. It’s more of a 90-minute standup act (it runs a tad long) with a glorified set — his unusually well-appointed therapist’s office. While he’s waiting for his appointment to begin, he tells the audience the story of his life.

He begins by calling his mother and father on his cell phone and imparting some highly personal anecdotes; in their respective Italian and Jewish accents, they ask who’s on the line. Hardly original, it’s still funny.

While Solomon’s Jewish accent is spot-on, his Italian comes and goes. Yet it’s highly effective when he impersonates his mom in a bad mood as she punctuates her anger by making obscene gestures.

Even though Solomon’s persona is likable, it doesn’t mean his shtick is totally clean. The sex and bathroom humor is up (or down) to the level one might find on a weekend at a comedy club.

Solomon’s best bits deal with Judaism’s kosher laws. His re-enactment of his Jewish grandmother trying to explain to his Italian mother why it’s not OK to mix chicken and cheese but it’s OK to mix eggs and cheese goes down easily.

He also tells an amusing tales about how, to keep his kosher wife happy, he actually buries tainted silverware in his backyard.

Of course, he imparts the age-old rule practiced by reformed Jews across the land — that pork and shrimp are kosher in a Chinese restaurant. He doesn’t quite go to the level of “I’m on a seafood diet; when I see food, I eat it,” but almost.

In the end, Solomon exemplifies the notion that there are joys to be experienced in what’s warm and familiar.

IF YOU GO

My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy

Where: Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, 3 and 8 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday (no shows July 4); 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 3 p.m. Sunday; closes July 22
Tickets: $37 to $69
Contact: (415) 771-6900 or www.ticketmaster.com

lkatz@examiner.com

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Protesters rally at the site of a proposed affordable housing project at 2550 Irving St. in the Sunset District on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
Sunset District affordable housing discussion flooded with ‘scare tactics and hysteria’

Project would provide 100 units, some of which would be designated for formerly homeless families

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Rainy weather is expected in the coming week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Rainstorms, potential atmospheric river expected to drench Bay Area in coming week

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Multiple rainstorms, cold temperatures some… Continue reading

U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s powerful reading was among the highlights of Inauguration Day. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Inauguration shines light in this never-ending shade

Here’s to renewal and resolve in 2021 and beyond

Most Read