My Shiksa Boyfriend

Arielle Beth Klein animates her storytelling with expressions and gestures in My Shiksa Boyfriend.

By Andrew Andrews

The life of Arielle Beth Klein has not been particularly noteworthy:

She wasn’t born one of octuplets and didn’t run away and join the circus as a child.

She wasn’t the youngest person to win the Nobel prize.

She didn’t even fall out of an airplane and live to tell about it!

No, Arielle lived her earliest years in a house on Staten Island before moving to New Jersey to attend Hebrew school and live what most people would consider a very ordinary life.

What’s special about Arielle is not the life she’s lived.

What’s special is the way she talks about it.

Ariel, you see, is a storyteller. Give her an hour and a stage and she’ll tell you about growing up ordinary in a way that makes the ordinary feel extraordinary.

In My Shiksa Boyfriend, Arielle recounts her story of growing up with a Jewish mother and bubbe. And she talks about the former’s approval ratings of the boys and men she’s dated—with their first names and religions being determining factors.

It’s all pretty much what you’d expect for an Jewish American girl with a Jewish American mother.

And yet the way Arielle smiles while she says itthe way Arielle moves while she says it—the way Ariel elaborates while she says it—compels you to feel the story as if it were your own.

Now, if you’re a Yiddish language purist (or of the mind that Jews and Gentiles shouldn’t mix!), you might have an issue with the words shiksa and boyfriend being used together. But listen to Arielle speak, and you’ll get over it.

And if you’re not a Yiddish language purist because you don’t know much, if any, Yiddish, then you might worry about how much of this show you’re going to understand.

In that case, fear not, because the good news is: Arielle doesn’t speak much Yiddish, either! And what she does say in Yiddish—or Hebrew, or about Judaism in general—she explains so naturally and succinctly that you’ll instantly feel in-the-know.

So check out her show, then come back here and tell us how Arielle made you feel.

Whether you agree with her that love transcends culture, religion and language, or side with those who say that shiksa should never be used to describe a boyfriend (in more ways than one!), your reviews can help others decide if Arielle Beth Klein tells the kind of story they want to hear, and your ratings help us help you find future performances you’re sure to love!

5

Andrew Andrews attended My Shiksa Boyfriend at New Yiddish Rep Studio in New York on Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 12:34pm to write this review.

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