My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm Still in Therapy

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My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm Still in Therapy photo
Joan Marcus

Editorial Review

'Still in Therapy'

By Jane Horwitz
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009

Steve Solomon is back with his bag of shticks. The stand-up comic, cruise ship veteran, Friars Club member and onetime high school physics teacher was a hit last year at Bethesda Theatre with his well-traveled solo show, "My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm in Therapy."

Now Solomon has written a new installment. The title remains unchanged, except it notes that he's "still in therapy." It opens Jan. 28 and runs till Feb. 7. (The show originally was supposed to open tomorrow.)

"We've played it in a few smaller venues around the country, to get the kinks out, to see where it is ... but essentially this is the first big venue that we've played," Solomon says.

Instead of placing Solomon in the waiting room at his shrink's office, telling the audience about the extended family that drives him nuts, ". . . Still in Therapy" has him in the party room at his parents' retirement place, about to celebrate his dad's 85th birthday. Everyone's lost or late, so Solomon turns to the audience for sympathy.

"What we've done now in the new show is lots of interruptions," he explains. "Phone calls from my mom, my dad, from my sister." From his mom all we hear is the high-pitched whistle of her hearing aid. As for his sister, she's remembered by past audiences as the Smoker With the Cough.

"By the third phone call, the audience is hysterical and I haven't said a word, so it's really a nice premise," says Solomon. He expands on some characters who had bit parts in the first show. Take poor dim cousin Kenny -- please. "We'd go to the park as kids, I would say look at the dead bird, and Kenny would look up," cracks Solomon.

And oh boy, did parents ever use corporal punishment when Solomon was a kid. "I would say to my cousin Bobby, you want to go play ball after dinner? He'd say, no I have a 5 o'clock appointment for my beating. But after my beating I can play."

The comic has two grown children and is divorced from their mother. And no, he hasn't remarried. "I lease now," he says.