Much Ado About Everything by Jackie Mason
Before Seinfeld, before Barbra went WASP in The Way We Were, your average armchair sociologist could posit two basic views of Jewish identity in America: one from New York City (and maybe Miami Beach) and one from everywhere else. Because New York was the only place in the country where being a Jew seemed normal, it fostered an exaggerated insider-identity that, in my extended family and others, could often border on arrogance. Elsewhere, the opposite experience prevailed; despite massive pressure to assimilate, blatant and subtle anti-Semitism constantly recalled the fact of being a minority and fostered an exaggerated outsider identity that could sometimes border on paranoia, even in Miami Beach. Crass generalizations aside, however, two recent theater productions demonstrate both the power such views once held and the extent to which they have now become obsolete.