When I was a kid growing up in an Italian American family in Pittsburgh, my fondest memories were of my Uncle John’s visits on Sundays. While my grandmother set a table of food to feed an army, Uncle John had the incredible ability to make a joke of whatever he could pull from our family dynamics at that moment in time. I recall crying tears of laughter as he made happy fun of Aunt Angeline’s greasy chicken, Cousin Fran’s flaming red hair, my father Joe’s protruding belly or Grandpa Franco’s irritating hearing problem.
Fast forward several decades to the production of My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, and I am STILL in Therapy, playing now through September 9, 2012 at the San Diego Lyceum Stage Theatre in Horton Plaza.
As soon as the multi-talented Steve Solomon, author and actor in this one-man show, took the stage, I knew Uncle John had met his match.
To say that an evening spent with Steve Solomon is like being with a dear, funny friend, is an understatement. In truth, an evening with Steve is more like being with dozens of hilarious friends and eccentric members of your own family.
Steve has taken the art of impersonation and honed it into a science. He masterfully weaves different dialects and crazy characters into his stories. These tales take on a life of their own as Steve recounts memorable moments from his past and makes hysterical observations on timely topics.
A native of Brooklyn, Steve grew up in the multi-ethnic neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay. This was the perfect training ground for a dialectician. Steve learned at an early age how to use his gift for imitating accents to his advantage. During his performance at the Rep, he brought the house down with his rendition of various dialects, to include Italian, Jewish, Russian, Mexican and Indian, to name a few.
Like my Uncle John, a teacher who taught in Pittsburgh high schools, Steve had a career as a physics teacher and school administrator in Philadelphia before taking his highly successful one-man show on the road. Unlike my Uncle John, he holds a PhD degree in education, but gave up his academic career when he decided that making people laugh was his true goal in life.
Judging from the audience reaction on opening day at the Lyceum, this was definitely a wise choice.
While Steve’s comedy never descends into the vulgar, be prepared to hear his candid and hysterical take on subjects such as marital relations, divorce, child-raising, aging with all its side-effects (impotence, flatulence, loss of hearing, etc.) and even death (“Cremation is just thinking outside the box.”)
Steve’s last show, the two-time award winning: My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m In Therapy, ran to record crowds last year at the San Diego Lyseum. This show drew heavily on the Italian/Jewish theme. STILL IN THERAPY is Steve’s current pet project, and a completely new show that touches upon other topics more than the Italian/Jewish family connection. But great fun nonetheless!
For more information, log onto: stevesolomoncomedy.com