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CROSSING DELANCEY 2024 Maxine & Robert Seller Theatre/Jewish Repertory Theatre
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May 18, 2024, 22:07
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Through June 2
CROSSING DELANCEY Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre/Jewish Repertory Theatre

By Augustine Warner

Every generation handles its courting and mating a little differently, as does each ethnic group.
That presupposes members of ethnic groups don’t mate outside of their group, since that would mix the cultural traditions.
Susan Sandler’s “Crossing Delancey” revolves around Manhattan’s Lower East Side, once an intensely Jewish enclave filled with the languages familiar in the ghettos of Eastern Europe, before 1939.
Some aspects of the old life remain, the Matchmaker.
Here, it’s Hannah (Tina Rausa), who knows all the Jewish young people in the neighborhood who might be looking to mate and she is there to help them along.
Urged on by grandmother Bubbie (Darleen Pickering Hummert), Hannah is working to get granddaughter Izzy (Arin Lee Dandes) mated, preferably to one of the nice Jewish boys around the community.
Izzy works in a small bookstore.
She’s fixated on a particular writer, who lives nearby, Tyler (R.J. Voltz) who looks like something out of a Brooks Brothers catalog.
Izzy doesn’t want her Bubbie and Hannah involved in her private life, although she is tight with her grandmother.
Hannah provides the “pickle man” as a possible object of attraction, Sam (Adam Yellen), a successful businessman, from a generational family in the pickle business and clearly interested in a wife.
He put a great deal more effort into Izzy than she does him, continually distracted by Tyler, who misreads her.
When Izzy realizes she has made a mistake, her interest focuses on Sam.
He’s available.
Clearly, you can see where this sinuous tale is going.
Director Steve is working with a strong and experienced cast, which helps.
That’s even Voltz as a clueless and semi-successful writer.
The fun part of the show is seeing it with a JRT audience, with people who laugh at lines in Yiddish, which fly right past a Goy.
That’s why this is such a universal show while it’s just such a group show.
“Crossing Delancey” is such an interesting look at mating within a pretty formalized structure, while making your own choices.
It’s worth seeing.

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