Steve Solomon: belly laughs and an evening of funEntertainment Feature Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Most people might wonder how Steve Solomon, the author and Broadway star of “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, and I’m STILL in Therapy!” could have gotten where he is today without any familial inspiration, but it’s true, well sort of.
Solomon will be bringing his Broadway show to San Diego Repertory Theatre this month and will be there through Sept. 9.
This show is a sequel to “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, and I’m in Therapy!” also written by Solomon, which premiered in San Diego last year.
Both of these shows have toured the country and were inspired by Solomon’s own family, so perhaps familial inspiration or a family member in the business wasn’t completely necessary.
Born and raised in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn Solomon cultivated many of his accents and dialects just by listening to his ‘diverse and multi ethnic’ neighbors on the street. “That’s where I learned to do all the characters in my shows,” Solomon explained.
In this particular show Solomon takes the audience back to his childhood and what it was like growing up with his family, which he lovingly describes as “One part lasagna, one part kreplach and two parts Prozac.” He also talks about his sister “The Smoker” and also delves into dieting, mixed marriages and even ex-wives.
In fact, when asked what a typical dinner was like in the Solomon household, he definitely doesn’t hold back. “[There was] lot’s of food, chaos, laughing and yelling,” Solomon said.
Most would think that Solomon went to school for performing, but he didn’t. He actually went to school for a degree in secondary education and taught for many years; he remarks how his teaching affected his students in a positive way.
“I taught physics and was an assistant superintendent of schools,” Solomon said. “[Many of] my former students find me after shows and tell me how they loved my comic approach to teaching.”
His start in show business wasn’t like most. In fact he was writing jokes long before he actually performed them himself.
“I started writing jokes and stories in the early seventies,” Solomon said. “[And] I started getting paid for them around 1985.” Coincidentally, that was around the same time Solomon decided to get out of teaching and become a full-time comedian. It was then that he returned to his roots and began writing shows that have played to sold-out crowds for two years in New York.
As of today, Solomon has written four full-length shows; three of those shows are currently touring. “All three shows are touring internationally,” Solomon said. Solomon also mentioned that he works with three other actors who do these shows on a yearly basis as well. “We do 300-500 productions a year,” Solomon added.
This particular show was actually on Broadway last season and it was his shows producer, Phillip Roger Roy, who brought this show to the Rep after a successful run of his original show that, as mentioned prior, premiered at the Rep last year.
Like most comedians, Solomon credits some pretty major heavyweights in the comedy business for inspiring what it is that he does today. Some of his favorite comedians, past and present, are Jonathan Winters, George Carlin and Dave Chappel.
Much like these comedians, Solomon confessed that a certain amount of improvisation does creep in to his live shows.
“Although the show is scripted, it is theater,” Solomon said. “I wander off script occasionally … every night!”
And while Solomon isn’t necessarily open to discussing what he has working for the future he did say, “An announcement will be forthcoming.”
One of the things that resonate strongly about Solomon and what he brings to his shows and gives to the audiences is his desire to make people laugh; plain and simple.
“Audiences identify with the characters in all my shows,” Solomon commented. “There’s no message, nothing poignant … just belly laughs and an evening of fun. You don’t have to be Jewish or Italian to love this show. All you need is to know what it feels like to leave a family dinner with heartburn and a headache.”
“My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, and I’m STILL in Therapy!” is playing at The San Diego Repertory Theatre located at the Lyceum Theatre downtown San Diego. For tickets and further information you can contact the theater at 619-544-1000.
For more information on Steve Solomon visit stevesolomoncomedy.com or catch him live on stage at The Rep until Sept. 9.
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