Sep 20, 2018

‘Polish Joke’ opens season

University Theater

University Theatre’s first play of the year is a cultural comedy that has been compared to the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”.

Directed by Edward EmanuEl, Ph.D., and written by David Ives, the play revolves around Jasiu Sadlowski, played by Adam Schroeder.

His character grows up in front of the audience, starting at age 9 and following him to 30 years old.

The turning point in the play is after Sadlowski’s uncle, Roman, tells him that the Polish are the butt of all jokes.

Wanting to be successful, Sadlowski decides to change who he is.

Changing his heritage seemed easier than he thought it would, but his heritage comes back and haunts him everyday, seeming to never disappear. Sadlowski drops out of seminary.

“The central character is sexually challenged by the colors white and red and by girls,” EmanuEl said.

While the play has some short serious speeches, EmanuEl said, laughter is sure to follow right after.

Polish jokes are told throughout the play. But the jokes are aimed for the audience to laugh with him, not at him.

The play focuses on heritage, and allows people to laugh by seeing how life may be for someone of a different heritage.

Ferin Petrelli, who plays Magda and Olga, said that she saw the humor in the play right away.

“I wanted to do this play because it’s a hilarious play and I have worked with Ed EmanuEl before. He is good with the actors,” Petrelli said.

“Throughout the play people learn a lot about the Polish people, their food and their customs,” EmanuEl said.

He also described the play more like a TV sitcom, such as the Saturday Night Live sketches.

“ The play is not long and the skits go by quickly,” EmanuEl said.

Danny Cobb, who plays the Irish priest, said that this is a great piece not only for regular visitors to the theater, but newcomers as well.

“If you have never been to the theater before, this would be a great play to come and see,” Cobb said.

Other castmates and the director encourage anyone who are up for a good laugh to come and enjoy the show to find out more about the Polish heritage.

EmanuEl said that most people who come will be from the community, but emphasized that the work put into the play makes it a unique and interesting piece.

Unlike some plays, the set is simple and doesn’t have many props, EmanuEl said.

He also added that the actors have spent the past three-and-a-half weeks rehearsing to give the audience a great show and lots of laughs.

EmanuEl said that the nearly 20 actors in the play have worked hard to make this a great comedy for everyone to enjoy and encourages students to support their fellow schoolmates by seeing the play.

If nothing else, he hopes the audience laughs.

“Polish Joke”

The show runs October 5-7 and 9-13, in the John Wright Theatre.

• Tickets for students are $8, faculty $13 and general admission is $15.

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