Judy Gold is brilliant in her new show, rightfully titled, Yes, I Can Say That! Her bold, witty humor truly stands out and makes for an unforgettable evening of comedy and entertainment.
The show based on her book Yes, I Can Say That: When They Come for the Comedians, We Are All in Trouble brings to the stage honest and raw reflections of motherhood, parenting, our current political climate, the entertainment business, The Holocaust, censorship, the importance of laugher and so much more!
There are so many gems in the show. Some of my favorites include the moments when she voices her mother and other characters. One specific story Gold tells is when she brings home friends to play. Her mom is pleasant and amiable, but when they leave, she'd ask, "Do you think she would hide you? Do you?" Being surrounded by Holocaust survivors, this is a reasonable criterion to gauge a friend. Gold's delivery is uncanny; she makes the commonest of comments comical- a true comedy veteran!
Another part that really shined throughout the performance was her emphasis on the importance and value of laughter. She exclaims, "When the Jews in Europe were imprisoned by the Nazis, stripped of everything, starved, tortured, and facing certain death, it was humor that allowed them to keep a toehold on their dignity — a final act of defiance. They were able to laugh." This embeds the value of laughter in her life and we're able to see this as well as a powerful quote by Yanina Brandwajn-Ziemian, survivor, is projected on the stage, "Look, if not for humor, we would all have committed suicide. We joked about everything . . . it's hard to explain. What I claim is that it helped us to remain human beings..."
Human beings indeed.... Judy Gold's show is blunt and fearless and also beautiful. Her message and comments on human nature or lack thereof in certain instances are thought-provoking, engaging and above all, absolutely hilarious!
"Judy Gold in Yes, I Can Say That!"
Performed by Judy Gold
Written by Judy Gold and Eddie Sarfaty
Direction by BD Wong
Produced by Primary Stages in association with Jamie deRoy
March 4 - April 16, 2023
59E59 Theaters [59 East 59th Street (btw Park and Madison Avenues)]
Yani Perez, M.F.A, is a poet, playwright, translator, and educator. Her plays have been presented in various theaters in the United States such as La Mama and Yale University as well as internationally in Bogotá, Colombia. She works at IATI Theater, one of the oldest Latinx theaters in NYC. She is currently working on translations of Latinx artists in hopes of introducing them to English-speaking audiences.