The Jewish Theatre Collaborative presents The Loman Family Picnic by Don Margulies, a hysterically funny drama/musical of a 1960s’ Jewish family coming apart at the seams as they struggle for the American Dream and prepare for their son’s bar mitzvah.
It’s 1965. Herbie is chronically overworked and underpaid; his wife, Doris, tells herself she loves her life even though as the play begins she is shredding her wedding dress; Stewie, their older son, eagerly awaits his bar mitzvah with an eye on the potential loot to be gained in gifts; all while Mitchell, 11, notes parallels between his family and Arthur Miller’s fictional Loman Family.
The stellar cast includes Jill Westerby as Doris, Jason Glick as Herbie, Bryce Earhart as Stewie, Dylan Earhart as Mitchell, and Sara Fay Goldman as the deceased Aunt Marsha. It features set design by Mark Loring, costumes by Elizabeth Huffman, lighting by Jeff Woods, musical orchestration by Mark La Pierre, and musical direction and sound design by Jen Raynak.
Director Sacha Reich says, “Comedy is an inviting doorway into the human psyche and complications of life. Family life can push you to the edge and these nutty, compelling characters are trying desperately to rewrite their ending.”
Opening night is May 12 with preview performances May 10 and 11. Facilitated talkbacks follow every performance. Special talkbacks include: May 13, Mother’s Day reflection on the role of mothers in the ’60s; May 17 and 20, bar mitzvah tutors discuss navigating this important coming of age process; and June 3, recent b’nai mitzvah discuss the experience.
8 pm, Thursdays-Saturdays, and 2 pm, Sundays, May 10-June 3, at The Arena Stage at Theater! Theatre! 3430 SE Belmont, Portland. Tickets, available at www.brownpapertickets.com, are $20 adult, $18 senior, $15 students and $10 preview.