When UPN/CW aired America’s Next Top Model, I would run casting calls for hopeful contestants. Around the time of each casting call, I would receive phone calls from people who either wanted to be models or actors. I would always ask them why. Most were more interested in becoming celebrities rather than actors or models. For those that were truly interested in pursuing acting or modeling, I would outline what life is like as a struggling performer. It happened so frequently I even had a standard email I would send them.
That was then.
Now I would send them to see Brad Zimmerman’s one man show, My Son the Waiter, A Jewish Tragedy. Thorough stories filled with humor and warmth, he tells the story of not only how he chose the hard road to make a living as a performer, but what it is like to live it. If prospective performers can stomach the ups and downs of the lifestyle, then they might be happy as a performer.
Included in the lifestyle is waiting tables to make ends meet or…almost meet – and calling his parents to cover the shortfall. His customer interactions are hilarious. But nothing tops his imitation of a model. It brought me right back to those casting calls. There’s more to it and some social commentary, but I won’t ruin the punchline for you.
Then there’s dating…he has some very funny stories of trying to date without a steady job.
Mr. Zimmerman brings to the stage some great voices as he imitates the people around him.
The show doesn’t work as well when he stops talking about his personal experiences and resorts to stereotypical Jewish jokes. If I wanted trite jokes, I would read the Totally Tasteless Joke Book. Luckily, it’s not a big part of the show. However, it does highlight that he’s a little short on material as the show only runs about an hour and 10 minutes.
Mr. Zimmerman is passionate about what he does and the life he has chosen. His enthusiasm and upbeat attitude about his life choices is what makes the show so enjoyable.
My Son the Waiter, A Jewish Tragedy is playing at the 7 Stages Theatre Mainstage through June 18.