December 18, 2014

Moo-Jew provides Christmas alternative

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Jews and Chinese unite for comedy dinner

By Michael Kelley
Observer correspondent

With non-stop Christmas music dominating the radio and holiday specials on television nightly, the Christmas season is in full swing. With hundreds of thousands of people frantically putting final touches on shopping lists, the days leading up to Dec. 25 are some of the busiest of the winter. But what do these days mean for those who don’t celebrate Christmas?

Moo-Jew Comedy, a fusion of Jewish comedy and Chinese food, is attempting to answer that very question. The comedy festival, now in its second year, will be held at 8 p.m. at Asian Bistro, 121 Connor Way in Williston on Dec. 23, 24 and 25.

“It is no secret that Jews and Chinese food (have) been together for centuries,” said festival producer and performer Jason Lorber. “This is just a natural progression. Why make someone schlep to a comedy show when you can bring it right to them.”

Lorber said this year’s festival, stemming from the popularity of last year’s event, will be held on three different nights rather than one, as it was in 2006.

“Last year we sold out. We had to turn dozens of people away,” he said. “We are very excited to offer it for three days. It looks like it will be a big success.”

The event kicks off at 8 p.m. each night and will include a four-course dinner, with a vegetarian option, plus the comedic styling of Lorber, New York City’s Dan Hirshon and Boston’s Myq Kaplan. Hirshon has performed all over New England and was a 2003 Las Vegas Comedy Festival finalist. Kaplan is a well-known and award-winning comedian who has appeared on Comedy Central and at various comedy festivals around the United States.

According to Lorber, the three nights of comedy are not totally geared to Jews. In fact, Lorber said, everyone is welcome.

“A lot of people, not just Jews, are looking for something beyond the traditional ways to celebrate the holiday,” he said. “It is not just great comedy and a good meal. It has a very nice community feel to it.”

While the general goal of the festival is to provide a fun alternative to otherwise traditional holiday celebrations, Lorber has a very specific goal for this year’s event.

“We want to increase the laughter rate by 23 percent,” he said.

Lorber advised people to act fast if they hope to catch one of the shows this year: According to his calculations, the shows are selling tickets three-and-a-half times faster than last year.

For tickets call the Flynn Theatre Box Office at 863-5966. Tickets may also be available at the door. More information is available at www.moojew.com.

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