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The Essence: A Yiddish Theatre Dim Sum

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Allen Lewis Rickman
July 22, 2012

What is your job on this show?
Writer/Director/Producer/Actor/Etcetererer..

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
Comedy, always. Comedy gives you the most direct relationship with the audience, and it's also the most challenging: the slightest difference in an intent or an inflection is the difference between a laugh and an embarrassment. And I love hearing people laugh. And it's healthy, both physically and socially -- when we laugh together, we are one people.

If you're a New Yorker: why is FringeNYC an important part of the summer theater scene?
I love FringeNYC, and have gone to quite a lot of FringeNYC shows. It's where the excitement is in the summer; and it's edgy, like NY used to be; and it's democratic (i.e., you don't need to be a Rockefeller to put a show on); and there's always a bunch of stuff that's fun.

In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
"Wow, who knew that Yiddish was hip?!!"

Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Chico, for three reasons: 1) He makes me laugh. (Well, they all do, but Chico was always my favorite.) 2) He was the most Politically Incorrect. 3) His daughter was at our wedding. (True.)

Why should people come to FringeNYC this summer, rather than the beach, mountains, or the latest movie blockbuster?
You'll get more surprised, stimulated, and excited, and you'll almost certainly laugh more. (Laughing at the beach is very rude.)