It's always a major attention-grabber when a short-run show gets a second life and funding comes through to put it back onstage, even a year later. It's even more of a testament to that show when all of the original cast members come back to make the production as stellar as it originally was, with its chemistry intact (for example, 2012's and 2013's "Vanya and Masha and Sonia and Spike").
But we liked last year's production of "Bad Jews" so much that we're not surprised that it will get an encore. The Roundabout Theatre Company production will get the attention and audience volume that it deserves when last year's quiet favorite about a modern Jewish family in conflict comes back to New York City this fall. Joshua Harmon's play, directed by Daniel Aukin, is reopening on Oct. 3.
Last year's breakout tour de force, Tracee Chimo, will again be starring as the impossible, bossy Daphna. Alongside her onstage will be the returning cast of Philip Ettinger, Molly Ranson and Michael Zegen. "Bad Jews" bills itself as such: "It's about what you chose to believe when you're chosen." But deep down, this play is a piece that viewers of any religion can relate to. It explores the family dynamics of three Jewish cousins (and one shiksa girlfriend) who are brought together in a small Upper West Side apartment following the death of their grandfather. Because the relatives have diverse beliefs and practice varying levels Judaism, matters of family and faith come to a head over who is the most qualified to inherit a treasured Holocaust heirloom.
"Bad Jews" is scheduled to play a limited run through Dec. 15 at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold & Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 W 46th St.). Previews begin Sept. 19. For more information, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.
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Follow T. Michelle Murphy on Twitter: @TMichelleMurphy.