Comic Judy Gold and playwright Kate Moira Ryan have scoured the country interviewing Jewish mothers. The result is "25 Questions for a Jewish Mother," the off-Broadway show Gold has brought to Atlanta, where she's performing through Sunday at the Center Theatre.
Of course, the comedian has been researching the show her entire life.
Gold is conservative, kosher, gay and the mother of two sons, ages 7 and 12. Her art is both reaction and tribute to her 86-year-old mom, Ruth. We caught up with the younger Gold as she rolled into town the other day and talked about, what else — how she has unwittingly become her mother.
Q. What did you promise yourself you'd never do to your kids to avoid being like your mother?
A. I'm never going to make them feel guilty. I'm not going to yell at them.
Q. And which of her traits do you emulate anyway?
A. Pretty much everything. It's incredible. You have the kid and you turn into your mother. It's unavoidable. Sometimes my older son calls me Grandma. I'm a cooler version of my mother.
Q. What are your mother's best qualities?
A. Her intelligence and need to know what's going on. Also, her sense of humor. She happens to be very funny.
Q. What have you inherited most strongly from her?
A. Bad knees. Huge appetite. I have the worst qualities from both of my parents' bodies. It's really annoying. Also, the need to be informed and not ignorant. The ability to have an opinion and be able to back it up. And a really true love of Judaism.
Q. What's the best advice your mother ever gave you?
A. Don't put anything in writing. My father was a tax attorney. I don't know where she got that from. Everything was always from the victim point of view.
Q. Does your mother approve of what you do?
A. She loves the show. She definitely loves what I do, and also loves to criticize it. My brother will still be the favorite no matter what. He's an accountant. Shocking. Big breakthrough for the family.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.