Saturday, July 25, 2015

Applause! Applause! Review of 702 Punchlines & Pregnant: The Jackie Mason Musical at The Broadway Comedy Club by Dr. Philip Ernest Schoenberg

This review of “702 Punchlines & Pregnant: The Jackie Mason Musical" at The Broadway Comedy Club was written by Dr. Philip Ernest Schoenberg and published in Volume X, Issue 5 (2015) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!

702 Punchlines & Pregnant: The Jackie Mason Musical
Book, Music & Lyrics by Ginger Reiter
Additional Material by Ian Wehrle
Orchestrations by Noriko Sunamoto
Choreography by Lara Clear
The Broadway Comedy Club
318 West 53rd Street
New York, New York 10019
Reviewed 7/15/15 at 2:00 p.m.

Ginger Reiter, who wrote the book, music and lyrics to this musical, slept with Jackie Mason, at the urging of her mother, to advance her career or snag him into marriage. According to Ms. Reiter, they had a passionate love affair over a period of ten years (whenever Jackie Mason was in south Florida). Jackie Mason made it clear he wasn't interested in marriage or having children, but due to Ginger's failure to take proper precautions, she got pregnant and gave birth to Sheba Mason. Only under Court Order did Jackie Mason pay child support for the minimum number of years he was required to do so. Other than that, to this day, he will have nothing to do with his daughter. However, as long as it only involved sex, he had no problem continuing to sleep with the mother of his child so long as he didn't have to see or have anything to do with the kid.

Except for the moral implications of the plot, every aspect of this highly entertaining show was perfect. You will laugh at the jokes, enjoy the songs and music, and be charmed by the acting. I guarantee you will indeed have a good time. Ian Wehrle is a talented actor who successfully impersonates Jackie Mason's gestures and voice. Sheba Mason shines playing both her mother in the show as well as the narrator of the story. There are twenty original songs in this musical, each one with its own unique charm. 702 Punchlines & Pregnant: The Jackie Mason Musical tells about how Ginger and Jackie met and details chronologically how their relationship unfolded. A prominent force in helping Jackie Mason meet and sleep with as many as three women a night was his wing man, who I actually met at a friend's house where he charmed us with anecdotes that were as revealing as the show was about him. He was adroit at handling Jackie's constant demands and insecurities as every so often his cell phone would ring and he had to handle the latest crisis presented to him by Jackie Mason, whose personality is so strong, I could actually feel his impact second hand by telephone. In any case, his wing man not only introduced women to Jackie but later in his life after Jackie married Jyll Rosenfeld in 1991, he needed to coordinate with Mrs. Jackie Mason so she would be happy and so that there would be no World War III between the two of them.

If the lyrics of the songs in this musical could be transformed into knives, they would cut Jackie's balls off. Unfortunately, it appears to me that Sheba Mason buys into her mother's mantra of being a victim. But hey, her mother failed to snare a schmuck into marriage and got stuck raising her daughter by herself. It is time for Sheba Mason to liberate herself from her mother's desire for revenge and move on.

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