Side-Stepping My Religion

For every clan of WASPs gathered around the ancestral table to eat ham, turkey, or goose on Christmas Day, there's a lonely city dweller desperately looking for ways to avoid anything resembling the Baby Jesus. Why not distract yourself from the birth of Christ by taking in a little Jewish comedy at a Chinese restaurant? Kung Pao Kosher Comedy adds laughs to this unusual ethnic pairing that has become a holiday tradition. This year it features Tonight Show vet Wendy Liebman, Vietnamese-Jewish comedian Joe Nguyen, and Palo Altan Nathan Habib — whose heritage includes Belgium, Latvia, Italy, and Israel. MC, comedian, and New Yorker Lisa Geduldig says the event began 17 years ago for Jews on Christmas who had “nothing to do but hide under the covers,” and it has since expanded to attract a wide variety of urban heretics. This year the production benefits the food pantry at Jewish Family and Children's Services as well as the Esther Weintraub Comedy Clinic, a weekly workshop for residents of the Jewish Home of San Francisco. So forget about the Messiah and have an egg roll already.
Dec. 23-26, 2010

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