Here in NYC most people think of Broadway and historic playhouses along the Great White Way when it comes to stage shows. Well, I have some news for you. Just head out to catch a group of Odd Birdz downtown and well off- off- Broadway to partake in a terrific evening of talented ensemble group fun and off the wall hijinks.
What we had the pleasure of viewing recently at the intimate Players Theatre on Macdougal Street was the award-winning Israeli-based theatre troupe Tziporela performing their critically acclaimed show, Odd Birdz. Not having heard of or seen this before we did not know what to expect. Man, after sitting there for 90 minutes we were genuinely bummed that the show could not go on for another 30 minutes or more. It was that good!
After nearly a decade of sold-out performances around the world and a successful run in NYC in the fall of 2014, Tziporela has returned New York City for a 7-week run at The Players Theatre, starting July 16th and ending on Sept 6. Since it’s a limited schedule of performances I would suggest seeing it as soon as possible before they are gone. The group of nine that makes up Tziporela puts on an exuberant show that will leave you smiling and in high spirits on the way out. The price is right and so affordable for a night out to be entertained like this. A night of good laughs are so worth it.
Walking in and heading to our seats we were quickly greeted by cast members that came right up to us to chat, sit next to us while waiting for the show to start, and also handed us candy. One even had me take a prop up on the stage and ordered me to move it around a half-dozen times. It’s goofy fun as they mess with you in an innocent way. Eccentric, zany, warm, and chaotic it’s skit comedy with an edge that is a throwback to a combination of old NYC burlesque, slapstick, and Borscht Belt. Not entirely wholesome as this is really an adult type show with some sexual innuendo and choice words, but charming nonetheless.
What we sat through and experienced were about twenty fast-paced vignettes that incorporate a mix of humor, music, dance and drama. No matter where you’re from you’ll recognize those daily situations we can all relate to shown in their own way with dance, movement, and outrageous laughs. Some skits were purely visual. Some had inventive wordplay. Some alluded to pop culture. Some were about dating, love, and life. Things we face in our normal lives of which all know of that transcends barriers of language, culture, and age. Much of it quite hilarious, and also touching at times too.
It was like watching a fast paced rapid fire assault on our funny bones. At times we were laughing hysterically, and at others drawn into their world of whimsy. The cast performed with enthusiasm, heart, energy and imagination as they reached to convey their message to the audience. Also, where else could you leave a show to find the cast greeting the audience out on the sidewalk with a guitar and funny songs pulling us in to be a part of it? Like Pied Pipers leading the way. They display an almost child-like exuberance which exists within each of these charismatic performers, and they want everyone to feel a part of it.
We have not left a show this positive feeling in quite a while. Yes, we will be back before it closes to party with the Odd Birdz once again. We all need more laughs like these.
Odd Birdz tickets – https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/dept/1276/1438401600000
Tziporela – http://tziporela.twentythree.co.il/en/
The Players Theatre – http://www.theplayerstheatre.com/