Long before Rob Tannenbaum was even a knish in his mother's kosher midriff, Brew City Jews spent Christmas noshing moo shoo (chicken, of course) and watching movies about miracles. This year, however, Tannenbaum ladles up alternative entertainment in the form of a music/comedy show called "Good for the Jews."
"Good for the Jews" is the latest from Tannenbaum, who received rave reviews for his previous performance, "What I Like About Jew." This time, along with David Fagin, Tannenbaum embarks on a "Chanukah/Hanukkah holiday tour" featuring more unorthodox songs about Jews and Jewish life.
"(This show) allows us to share our anxiety as a group, which is what Judaism is all about," says Tannenbaum.
The New York duo comes to Milwaukee's Miramar Theatre on Christmas Eve Eve -- that's Saturday, Dec. 23 for anyone about to count on his or her fingers.
Apparently, Tannenbaum's pretty dang funny, because publications like the Village Voice and the San Francisco Bay Guardian throw around the word "hilarious" like it's the Great Yarmulke Toss of '97. Tannenbaum's song titles tout his wit, which include "It's Good to be a Jew at Christmas," a bar mitzvah reflection called "Today I Am A Man," and an ode to circumcision called "Just A Little Off The Top."
"I'm currently working on a song called 'Shikzas Are For Practice,'" says Tannenbaum, who is 32 and single.
Being Jewish isn't required to attend Saturday night's show, but having some grasp of the Jewish experience -- even if that means watching "Seinfeld" reruns or occasionally popping into Benji's for a plate of Hopple Popple -- is probably a good idea.
"We don't do the show in Hebrew or Yiddish or 'Jewbonics.' We're telling jokes in English, that everyone can understand," says Tannenbaum. "But if there's a joke that I tell and you don't understand, you can always turn to someone in the audience with higher SAT scores and they'll explain it."
Aside from being the front man for the indie pop band The Rosenbergs, Fagin was a guest on the Dennis Miller and Howard Stern shows. His songs have been heard on "Dawson's Creek," "Party Of Five," "One Tree Hill" and "Queer Eye," among others.
Tannenbaum, a pop culture guru who gave opinions on VH-1's "50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever," was featured in Time Out New York's cover story about "The New Super Jews," along with Jon Stewart and Sarah Silverman, and in last year's New York Times article about "the Jewish Hipster Movement."
"Jews of this (younger) generation have a different reality than Woody Allen. We're not schlubs and dweebs any more," says Tannenbaum. "We are people who want to feel an affinity for Judaism, but also want to eat a BLT now and again."
So does Tannenbaum indulge in the non-kosher pig?
"I don't like bacon so much, but I do like the occasional pork chop," he says.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.