Karl Grossman

Odd Birdz — Funniest Show in New York City

It’s the epitome of Jewish humor—poking fun at authority, madcap, thoroughly hilarious. Nearly a century after the Marx Brothers, an Israeli troupe of nine talented young people have brought to America their comedy for a five-week off-Broadway run closing November 19.

The show is called Odd Birdz and that’s drawn from the Hebrew name for the group, Tziporela, or little bird. Being performed at the Players Theatre at 115 MacDougal Street in the heart of Greenwich Village, with tickets from $45 to $65, it’s the best theatre buy in town—but most important, it’s the funniest show in New York City.

On one hand, it’s a unique production—of uproarious, zany sketches and satire and singing and dancing perfectly performed and staged. On the other hand, it’s so classically Jewish humor. Mel Brooks and a long line of Jewish comics extending way back would kvell.

These are young Israelis with a perfect command of American English—and a finger on the pulse of everyday life and not so everyday life.

Especially funny are Ben Perry as an unhinged Israeli customs officer and Tomer Nahir Petluk as his equally off-the-wall supervisor quizzing Danny Isserles as a passenger just-arrived in Israel.  Or Gal Friedman and Petluk emerging from the audience in a shtick involving an ostensible couple arguing. Or Efrat Aviv and Dana Ivgy doing nutsy black humor as two women carrying on at a graveside.

All the sketches in the 90-minute show are consistently excellent.

Tziporela was founded a decade ago by graduates of Israel’s renowned Nissan Nativ Acting Studio. It’s been busily performing throughout Israel and the world. For this, their American debut, Tziporela has been preparing for two-and-a-half years.

The fun begins before the show starts with members of the troupe welcoming members of the audience as they enter the theatre—greeting folks and distributing chocolate kisses—and continues after the show with them in front of the theatre chatting and joking with theatre-goers.

This is an extraordinary, must-see production.

If you live in or near New York City, rush to see it! For tickets, visit or also or call 866-811-4111. If you don’t live in or near New York, check on when the fantastic performers of Tziporela come by you. They are great!

About the Author
Karl Grossman is a professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury who has specialized in investigative reporting for 45 years. He is the host of the TV program “Enviro Close-Up,” the writer and presenter of numerous TV documentaries and the author of six books.