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'Jewtopia' makes LI premiere at Theatre Three

James Schultz, left, and Evan Teich in

James Schultz, left, and Evan Teich in "Jewtopia," playing at Theatre Three in Port Jefferson. Credit: Theatre Three Productions, Inc.

'Jewtopia" is the kind of success story that happens only in Hollywood. And then only in movies about Hollywood. Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson were struggling writers who maxed out their credit cards to star in their own play, hoping someone with clout would offer them a real gig. Instead, "Jewtopia" was a hit. A book deal followed. Then a movie deal.

It was a lark - a play about a gentile who begs his friend to help him meet a nice Jewish girl so "I won't have to make another decision in my life." A Jewish- American Princess stereotype, for sure. But it doesn't end there.

The Long Island premiere at Theatre Three brazenly celebrates every joke you ever heard about what it means to be a Jew. From mothers who want their young to be (or marry) doctors, to the sin of eating shellfish.

Adam Lipschitz (James Schultz) and Chris O'Connell (Evan Teich) are buddies. As directed by Jeffrey Sanzel, they compete for our sympathy. Is Chris rash to seek conversion for such shallow motives? Is Adam upset only because Chris is meeting hotter Jewish girls? Joan St. Onge as Adam's mom sees both sides in one of the funnier scenes. Her son brings home a Mongolian girl (Brianna O'Neill). Very unorthodox. As Rabbi Schlomo and Grandpa Lipschitz, Len Klein merrily offends observant Jews and Christians alike.

If you take religion - any religion - seriously, maybe you should stay home and pray for the authors' souls. Come to think of it, they don't need your help.

"JEWTOPIA": Long Island premiere of the comedy by Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson. Friday and Saturday nights at 8, Sunday at 3 p.m. through May 1 at Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson, 631-928-9100, Tickets: $15-$28.

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