Jewtopia to make first S.F. stop

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Here’s an idea: When crafting a family-friendly Jewish show, you might want to cut the part comparing Israel’s victories over its Arab neighbors in armed conflict to various degrading pornographic acts one may or may not witness in the choicest Tijuana gentlemen’s clubs.

Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson couldn’t agree more. So for the San Francisco Mother’s Day matinee of their two-man show, “World of Jewtopia,” no Jewish matriarch will be forced to query her children in a stage whisper, “bubeleh, what’s a blumpkin?”

That being said, the “Jewish kama sutra” sketch is still in there.

“That’s the biggest laugh in the entire show!” says Wolfson.

Adds Fogel, “The seniors love the Jewish kama sutra.”

Five years ago, Fogel and Wolfson were two more struggling Jewish comedians scraping by in Los Angeles. They poured all the money they had (and quite a bit that they didn’t) into “Jewtopia,” a series of comedic set pieces about their Jewish upbringings, with asides into kama sutra-like absurdities.

The show killed in Los Angeles, did the same in New York. Fogel and Wolfson, both 34, have since converted the play into a cottage industry. The pair have spun off the original show into a series of different plays (including the more multimedia “World of Jewtopia”) and licensed the production out; various theatrical companies have performed their shtick from Florida to Canada.

They came out with a raunchy book (in which the aforementioned Israel vs. Lebanon and Egypt porn comparisons were first printed) and a movie deal is, as they say in Hollywood, “in the works.”

Somehow, though, “Jewtopia” has never played in San Francisco; the show hit Toronto and even Sarasota, Fla., before it came here. Its creators have no idea why.

“There were times when it was almost going to happen and then for some reason it never did. It seems like in San Francisco, it should be running there year-round,” said Wolfson.

“But it’s going to kill for the weekend.”

Both Fogel and Wolfson will be on stage at the Palace of Fine Arts for the single engagement May 11 — no licensing to regional theater here.

In fact, Fogel is pretty sure his mom will be there for the Mother’s Day show. But he won’t bother explaining the dirty bits to her — she gets it.

“World of Jewtopia” plays at 3 p.m. May 11 at the Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St., S.F. Tickets: $42.50, available at or (415) 421-TIXS.

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi is the managing editor at Mission Local. He is a former editor-at-large at San Francisco magazine, former columnist at SF Weekly and a former J. staff writer.