Steve Solomon describes his one-man show, “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m Home for the Holidays” like so: “It’s a depressing maudlin adventure into death, turmoil and hatred.”
Then he laughs. “It’s about me coming home for the holidays and getting stuck in the Atlanta airport with everybody else because of the weather. And there’s the phone calls back and forth with my family, and all the airport announcements. It’s just a belly laugh.”
“Home for the Holidays” is the third incarnation of Solomon’s original show — same Mom and Dad, but instead of the holiday theme, Solomon was in therapy — which was followed by the second version, in which Solomon was “still in therapy.” This latest take has been touring for the past few years.
“I learned from the first two shows,” said Solomon, who created and stars in the production. “I took the best of that technique and put it into the third. . . . It works with the audience [because] they relate to everything. . . . There’s the stuff between the Italian family and the Jewish family, the chaos with Christmas [conflicting] with Hanukkah. Plus the travel. Everybody travels.”
Solomon does nearly 30 voices throughout the performance, from the gravely three-packs-a-day growl of his sister the smoker to the high-pitched, nasal squeal of his ex-wife (who, at least according to Solomon, was not offended by the portrayal).
“It’s all real,” he said of the characters. “Is it exaggerated? Yes, of course it is . . . [but] they’ve seen it and they recognize themselves.”
Although the show is scripted, Solomon takes inadvertent prompts from the audience, like an errant cellphone ring, as cues to improvise.
Don’t worry about him being too hard on you, though. He’s already a fan of Washington. “This crowd gets it,” he said. “You don’t have to struggle with the jokes. They’re a sophisticated audience.”
Wednesday-Friday, Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Rd., Vienna. www.wolftrap.org. 877-WOLFTRAP.
‘You, Nero’s’ new Scribonius
Jeff McCarthy will replace Marc Vietor in the role of Scribonius in Arena Stage’s “You, Nero.” McCarthy, a Broadway veteran (Billy Flynn in “Chicago,” Beast in “Beauty and the Beast,” among others), played Scribonius in a 2009 Berkeley Repertory Theatre production.
As a result of the casting change, four preview performances have been canceled. “You, Nero” will be back to its original schedule at 8 p.m. Saturday.
The show will open Dec. 8. Ticket holders with questions should contact the Arena sales office at 202-488-3300.