Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Between the lines of the stories told in “Oops I Did It Again: True Tales of Transgression,” a program of short comedic monologues that followed the Kol Nidre Yom Kippur service at City Winery on September 28, was a universal behavior pattern we’ve probably all experienced.

That’s the feeling of knowing you’re going down the wrong, obsessive path, but being unable to stop yourself even as you’re doing it. Monologist Carl Kissin revealed this in his story of love gone wrong, describing how “I knew I’d gone too far when I was calling her analyst to try to get them to broker a truce between us.”

Comedian and monologist Ophira Eisenberg confessed to multiple calls to an ex, recounting her chirpy “Hi, David!” excitement on the phone then his sigh in response before even talking, and repeating that he still is with another girlfriend now. It still wasn’t enough for her though, she went on to say, adding how she went to a Haitian witch who gave her instructions for how to cast a spell to bring him back. “Because that’ll work,” Eisenberg said, in a knowing tone that only time can bring.

Just to be clear, self-flagellation wasn’t the only topic of the monologues that night. Rob Gorden delivered a vivid tale of craziness at a friend’s wedding ceremony; Mindy Raf peppered her atonement-themed song with Tiny Tim-like vocal flourishes and off-kilter lyrics, proving very entertaining; and Steve Zimmer had the most high concept atonement story about a transgression cheating on a science fair project in grade school, then finding unlikely forgiveness for this long-ago sin years later.

But really, as someone who does their atonement, or at least browbeating, all the time and has trouble summoning the desire to focus on Yom Kippur, the universal truth in this comedy show might have been enough.