Imposing mom creates comedy

By Mia Proli Gable

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Andrew Bergman, the man responsible for such movie hits as Blazing Saddles, Oh God, You Devil and Fletch has switched to writing for Broadway with his first play Social Security. This comedy, about an old school Jewish mother disrupting the lives of her daughter and son-in-law, is Serendipity Playhouse's latest comedy.

Art dealers David and Barbara Kahn (Jeff Garman and Maggie Grant) enjoy their New York City life entertaining artists and rubbing elbows with the upper echelon of the art community. One day their world gets jolted as Sophie Greengrass (Carol Albert), Barbara's mother, is deposited on their door step.

Albert steals the show as Sophie Greengrass. She is built up by her two daughters, Barbara and Trudy, as a dependent old woman, leaving sourballs everywhere and making everyone's life miserable, but Albert's Sophie is nothing of the sort. She is just someone who wants to have fun and be with her children.

Perhaps Sophie's greatest moment in the play is when she strips down to her underwear in response to Barbara's pleading to get out of her housecoat and get ready for dinner. Five minutes later she emerges dressed to the nines, appropriately greeted by David, "Hello Billy Holiday."

"This seems to be the week for everyone to fall in love," Trudy says, aptly describing the mood of the whole comedy. This is especially true when Sophie charms the pants off of Maurice Koenig (Bert Albert), the nearly 100-year-old famous painter and friend of the Kahns. The love affair between Sophie and Maurice carries the play as they wonderfully show that just because people may be aging doesn't mean that they are immune to love.

Martin Heyman (Ed Fuller), mild-mannered accountant and Trudy's husband, adds to the comedy as the doting father who explicitly describes his daughter's recent fetish, menage a trois. Without as much as a crack in his voice he relates his daughter's new motto, "I live for sex now, everything is sex." Only the audience finds out later that he has a secret of his own.

The recipe of life requires such ingredients as love and laughter. Andrew Bergman's humor, mixed with vivid characters who don't seem to belong together, makes the Serendipity Playhouse's Social Security well worth seeing.

The movie Social Security runs through Feb. 25. Tickets run $12-$15 with student discounts available. Call 751-4445 for information.

Read Next Article