Tuesday, December 10, 2013



The old saying goes "He who laughs last, laughs longest and best," but how do you apply that sentiment to a modern day version of an ancient Biblical tale?  Playwright Ian Cohen is doing just that herculian task when he takes on the contemporized updating of the story of Abraham and Isaac, the one where God commands a human sacrifice as a test of faith.  God asks Abraham to offer up Isaac on the alter.

In the play "He Who Laughs." the action moves to modern day New York City and we meet Alfred Wells, a man of great prosperity with a beloved teenage son.  God has certainly been gracious and generous and given Alfred many blessings.  But what is the price for all those gifts?  Must Alfred choose between his faith and his family?

You are invited to witness the dramatic scenario as the brand new JCC Theaterworks presents "He Who Laughs" as their inaugural offering.  According to Jewish Community Center Cultural Arts Manager De De Jacobs-Komisar, the show "exemplifies the company's mission of exploring what Jewish theater is and can be."  The play will star Gore Abrams, Kate Kenney, Chuck Montogomery, Jane Tamarkin and Matt Walker.

Under the direction of Reuven Russell, the show will be held at The Off-Broadway Theater, 41 Broadway, New Haven, with entrance next to Toad's Place.. Performances are Saturday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, December 15 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Monday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m. For tickets ($25, seniors and students $12), go online to www.jccnh.org or call De De Jacobs-Komisar at 203-387-2JCC.

To explore the deeper meanings of the play, the Connecticut Humanities Fund is sponsoring two panel discussions of interfaith leaders following the Saturday evening and Sunday matinee performances.

Come meet Alfred, his wife Sheila and their 17 year-old son Zach, which is short for Isaac, a name that means 'he who laughs,'  It promises to be an intriguing and involving dramatic theatrical experience.

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