Have you heard the tale of The Flying Latke by Arthur Yorinks? If you had, you’d remember it. It’s the tale of a soaring pancake that’s mistaken for a UFO and the havoc it causes one family during the festival of Hanukkah. I have to admit that I didn’t know the story so when I was invited to see the show, I laughed at the name and was curious to find out how a latke could fly. As a matter of fact, my son and I talked about it all the way to the Flea Theater from Westchester yesterday to make the 11am show. I had a feeling the show would be unique, but I really under-estimated just how unique it would be.
The beauty of the Flea is that it’s small and it really is like seeing a play in your own living room. When we entered the theater, we were greeted by not only an actor at the door wearing a kippah, but the grandmother character announced our arrival and pointed out our seats. We immediately felt at home. The menorah on stage immediately put us in the Hanukkah spirit.
We also enjoyed the familiarity with the language in the play. As words like “Oy vey,” “bubbe,” “babka,” “oygevolt” and “cockamamie” spewed out of the character’s mouths, memories of my youth and of my grandparents shot to the forefront of my mind.
Adapted by Yorinks from his classic children’s book, The Flying Latke tells the story of young Danny Silverstein and his “meshugge” family as they celebrate the first night of Chanukah. Their holiday food fight sends a latke sailing out the window and over the city, causing a UFO frenzy that traps the Silversteins in their home with their extended family visiting and nothing but latkes to eat. It’s hilarious and I could tell that the actors were having a very good time acting out the tale. As the play goes on, they find out that the White House is interfering and that the Flying Latke is causing quite a stir. When they reach out to the Rabbi for help, not even he believes them, and he tells them, “Cut down on the manischewitz and there will be no more flying latkes.” There were a lot of very clever, laughable lines. My 7 year-old son had several fits of serious laughter!
It’s all farce and good fun, and after the eight days are up, the characters start to experience miracles, much like in the real story of Hanukkah. My son seemed to understand the meaning of the play and afterwards, he was running into the lobby to meet the actors.
Directed by Ben Kamine, who first conceived of bringing Yorinks’ play to The Flea, along with Kristan Seemel, Tom Costello, and Danya Taymor, the production features the creative talents of Resident Directors Tom Costello, Kristan Seemel and Danya Taymor. Performers include Yoni Ben-Yehuda, Arturo Castro, Morgan Everitt, Eric Folks, Kana Hatakeyama, Tedra Millan, Robert Rodems, Sade Namei and Joann Sacco, all members of The Bats, The Flea’s resident company of actors.
The Flying Latke runs through December 18th, so you have two more chances to see the show next Saturday and Sunday at 11am. Tickets are $12 per person. For a discount of $2, please use code. BLOG5.
Check the Flea Theater‘s web site for the full performance schedule. The Flea is located at 41 White Street between Church and Broadway, three blocks south of Canal, close to the A/C/E, N/R/Q, 6, J/M/Z and 1 subway lines.
Disclosure: I was provided these tickets by the ladies at MamaDrama, of which I am a partner.