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A Gold Rush in Philly
Jew-dy! Jew-dy! Jew-dy!
Cary Grant as cantorial soloist? No, just the reaction from Judy Gold's heavy-mettle fans who thinks she's the cream (pareve) in their coffee.
She gets to caffeinate and perk a lot this weekend, having a cup with a couple of stand-up shows at the Kaiserman JCC www.phillyjcc.com in Wynnewood on July 18, followed by her performance at the World Cafe Live www.worldcafelive.com on July 19.
And as far as "Jew-dy" is concerned, it's all part of the act.
But then it's also part of life.
The native of Newark, N.J., is still celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of son Henry, who got top billing and a Gold star. Literally.
"It was all so emotional," says Gold of the rite stuff. "And then the bill arrived."
She can pay her way; it's her way that helps: Gold is one of the top-tier comedians, and much of her humor uses her Jewishness as its motherlode.
As well as her mother: Gold's long-running off-Broadway "25 Questions for a Jewish Mother," without question, answered any career quest for an annuity with responses supplied by her at-times meddling mom.
And it all hit home as well for the "Do ask, Do Tell" Gold, who long ago said it loud and proud to her crowds that she's a lesbian: "As scary as it was being raised by one Jewish mother, I have to feel for my kids because they have two Jewish mothers."
Actually, four -- with two steps just added: Since separating from her partner, with whom she had two sons, Gold and her former mate have re-established romantic ties with others.
Her stand-up is stand-out -- at 6 feet, 3 inches, Gold is indeed a stand-out -- and she has shaped life's quirks and craziness into two other shows: "Mommy Queerest" and "It's Jewdy's Show: My Life as a Sitcom," which she just debuted at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
And who better to provide life's sitcom with a laugh track than the woman whose reel role hosting "HBO at the Multiplex" was sometimes funnier than the movies reviewed?
Is parenting as punchline-powerful? Rated "PG" for Payback Guilt. "My Mom used to say, 'I hope when you have kids, they'll treat you the way you treat me.' "
Was that an early real-life script treatment? "Well, it's payback; it happened."
There are some questions that may be more difficult than the 25 she had to answer off-Broadway and on tour, which included a stop in Philadelphia. "It's hard to explain to my kids why Jews don't [do well] at sleep-away camps."
Explanation: "We can't eat cheeseburgers."
But it's all vintage whine if not really couched in complaints. Then again, does it help that her partner Elysa is a therapist?
The reply: "Everything I do now is psychoanalyzed!"
Perks come with the partnership: At least, she reasons, "I don't get a bill."
But star billing as part of a TV gay-family sitcom? Gold doesn't know how Nielsen would rate it, but it's at the top of her family planning chart now.
Remote chance? Exactly: Why not have a show featuring gay parents whose plot lines would not be about their lifestyle but more about, "Where's the remote?"
After all, says the middle-age Mom, we're not in the Middle Ages anymore. "Parenting," she avows, "is parenting!"