Juergen K. Tossmann, Cathy Butler Weathersby, Matt Orme, Sherrick O'Quinn, Mike Burmester, Jamisa Spalding & Dale Strange
A HANUKKAH CHRISTMAS
with Klurman and Goldstein
On-Demand through January 5th, 2022
PAY WHAT YOU CAN
Bunbury opened the 2021-22 Season in September to live audiences with CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION. In November Dramatist Play Service denied us the rights to a production of THE SANTALAND DIARIES. This put us in a very difficult position as we did not have enough time to mount a suitable replacement. So, we are presenting for your entertainment pleasure a blast from our past!
On December 4th 2011, Bunbury produced a new play by Producing Artistic Director Juergen K. Tossmann. It was filmed in front of a sold-out house using a Sony Hi8 video camera. It's not HD quality however, the picture is good and the audio is outstanding.
Tossmann wrote this play to honor both the Jewish and Christmas holidays. Klaus Klurman first appeared in his play LIVING WITH KLAUS (2003) followed by the appearance of Hyman Goldstein with Klurman in ASSISTED LIVING? (2005) THE LAST HANUKKAH CHRISTMAS completed the trilogy in 2012. Ten years after its opening we believe it still has resonance. Remember the Occupy Wall Street Movement?
Excerpts from a review by Christina Martin
Read the entire review at Arts - Louisville.Com
For those looking for a very funny new show “written to entertain and enlighten,” in the words of playwright and director Juergen K. Tossmann, Bunbury’s A Hanukkah Christmas with Klurman and Goldstein is a good bet. Lighthearted yet thought-provoking, it resonates with everyone – whether they celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, both, or neither.
Matt Orme’s Klurman is magnificent in everything from accent to body language.......Juergen Tossmann delivers a strong performance as well......Klurman and Goldstein are amusing when they trade insults with one another, and they’re even funnier when they play off the eclectic group of extended family members who come to dinner.
Butler-Weathersby is so sweet and accommodating as Angela – who has taken Klurman and Goldstein into her home and now hosts this party – that I thought the woman must be a saint........Mike Burmester is hilarious as old hippie Fred, who isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed and walks around rather bemused most of the time......Judging by his portrayal of Al/Alice, Dale Strange has done an impressive study of how women move and hold themselves. Al/Alice’s sometimes exaggerated mannerisms get good laughs. We laugh with her rather than at her, however; she’s eminently likable because she has worked so hard to achieve self-acceptance and is unapologetically who she is...........Jamisa Spalding emanates a refreshing openness coupled with an absolutely infectious laugh. As her dogmatic husband, Sherrick O’Quinn is downright scary.
The play’s humor is sometimes simple (recurring gags involve stinky cheese, intestinal gas, and the spiking of the punch bowl) but sometimes gives a viewer real pause. What to make of Goldstein calling Klurman “gay” in a mocking tone, singing a song about a Southern “Mammy,” or saying during a major hullabaloo that it “sounds like a shiksa (non-Jewish woman’s) wedding”? You can be insulted; or, as is intended, you can laugh at the ignorance and inaccuracy of the stereotypes. What to do about someone so seemingly unenlightened at nearly 90? You’re probably not going to get him to change his attitudes overnight. So do you just tolerate him?
The redeeming quality of Goldstein is that he actually knows better. He’s open to seeing people for the individuals they are. In fact, one of the people dearest to him in all the world was of a different race and sexual orientation. The word he and this person used as a term of endearment for one another can be taken as an unconscionable insult by someone else. So the sentiments behind the terms we use give them their true meaning, although the sentiment is not always evident behind the baggage the term carries.
“Happy Holidays” is a phrase Klurman and Goldstein both hate, maybe because it seems to have checked any and all baggage at the door. While they scoff that there’s no such thing as “Hanukkah Christmas” when Fred first says it, that becomes exactly what they celebrate in the end. Instead of blending into something bland, these quirky characters learn to live with each other despite their quirks, and in certain cases, to realize that they’re not so different after all. Twilight puts it well when she bursts out in delight, “Your family is just as dysfunctional as mine!”