by Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman
There are two types of people in the world: Italians, and those who wish they were. I recently saw the show Shut Up Sit Down & Eat at the Snapple Theater and while I wouldn’t say that everyone wishes they could be one of the characters that were on stage – down on their luck and unhappy – by the end of the show I figured out what these four have that everyone is envious of.
Shut Up Sit Down & Eat is essentially four Italians just sitting and talking. There’s not much of a plot – they’re waiting for their therapist to arrive so they can begin a group therapy session. While they’re waiting they talk about life, death, parents, spouses, kids (or lack thereof), love (or lack thereof) and everything in-between. As you can imagine, the show is comedic but there are definitely some bittersweet elements and there’s a big twist in the end which turns everything upside-down.
The show is a self-called “plomedy” – a word that was invented just for this show and means a show where the actors pause every now and then and perform a short stand-up routine with the spotlight only on them (while the other actors “freeze” on stage). This monologue-type stand-up routine is nothing new. It’s sort of like an aside, a technique used in many plays, such as Shakespeare’s, where a character speaks to the audience without the other characters hearing him or her. I thought it worked really well here, especially since the show has no plot but rather just people sitting around talking the entire time. It’s nice to have the characters break from the conversation and turn to the audience every so often.
The show starts out funny and continues with a mix of jokes with a dash of sentimentality throughout. It really picks up towards the end with many laugh-out-loud moments until the big finale. Since it’s the first “plomedy” ever it’s something I have never seen before and I liked both the style and the execution. Even though this is a fictional play, because of the stand-up routines the line between fiction and real-life gets a little blurred here. It’s hard to know what is a real or a bit exaggerated part of the performers’ lives and what’s completely made up, especially since the issues they are dealing with are very realistic and could happen to anyone. The fact that the performers (Eric Tartaglione, Joe Moffa, Tina Giorgi and Chris Monty, who are all seasoned actors and comedians) wrote the play (along with Tom Ingegno) makes the storyline even more realistic. When the show ended I realized that while life may not be easy for many people, the Italian passion and zest for life is something to envy.
When:Sundays at 5:15pm – through December 28th, 2014
Where: 1627 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019
To purchase tickets click here or call the box office (212) 921-7862
I was not compensated for this post. I received tickets to the show.
Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman is the owner of Mama’s Bites and has also written for The Huffington Post. She has been living in New York City for thirteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree, but blogging is her true passion. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids (ages 7, 5 and 2) and loves finding great products that make her family’s life easier.