My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy Review – Brad Zimmerman in his Element

In a world turned upside down, what can be better than to get away from it all and laugh for 90 minutes straight?  That was exactly how the appreciative audience at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts experienced the terrific performance by Brad Zimmerman in his current work, “My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy”. This is a four-week engagement, running through July 31 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL.


Here's Brad Zimmerman

Seasoned by life and the experience of being a waiter for 29 years, Zimmerman offers a very funny and human series of stories presented with absolutely perfect timing, crystal clear enunciation and a voice I found very appealing.


Telling his story

Zimmerman worked on the script for My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy for nine years, and performed it in small venues all over the country, including a stint at Stage Door Theatre in Florida, where it came to the attention of producers Dana Matthow and Philip Roy (Respect: A Musical Journey of Women, Old Jews Telling Jokes, My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy). Since then, My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy spent two years at Off-Broadway’s Stage 72 at the Triad Theatre in New York, and has toured the USA from coast-to-coast.


Talking about golf

The 29 years Zimmerman spent “temporarily” waiting tables in New York, while continuing to pursue his dream of comedic acting has the desired result. This is a unique production in which he tells the story of his journey, along with bits about his childhood, family, and misbegotten love life.  His style is engaging.  He brings warmth, wit, self-deprecating humor, and wicked charm, which is the result of his years of training as an actor and his innate comedic talent.


Telling more


Zimmerman has done some acting that included a small part in “The Sopranos” playing Johnny Sack’s lawyer. In his act he tells of his experience when opening acts for a number of well-known entertainers, including George Carlin, Brad Garrett, Dennis Miller, Julio Iglesias, and 6 years with Joan Rivers who said “I’ve had three great opening acts in my lifetime: Billy Crystal, Garry Shandling, and Brad Zimmerman.”



And even more

When my friend came to see this production, he expected another version of “Old Jews Telling Jokes”.  This production has a very different approach. My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy is carefully crafted and brilliantly transmitted with greater depth and range and it is far more personal. This performance is a hybrid-part stand-up and part theatre.  It is the theatre part that brings a different and unusual quality and energy to the humor.


The audience loves this performance


A kind of encore performance, Brad Zimmerman’s sequel, “My Rise to the Middle” will be performed on only one night – Wednesday, August 3rd, also at the North Shore Center for Performing Arts.


More information is available at the MySonTheWaiter website.


Photos: Michael D. Appleton


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