image001What’s so funny about OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES?  Everything!  From birth to death – and everything in between – these Old Jews show the need to laugh at it all. Better yet, they MAKE you laugh at it all! 

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership proudly presents an evening of storytelling and laughs with Peter Gethers and Dan Okrent, the creators of the off-Broadway hit comedy, OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES, at Spertus, 610 S. Michigan Avenue, Thursday, Oct. 3, at 7pm.  The program will be moderated by Chicago’s own humorist Mike Leiderman, and will feature video excerpts from the Chicago stage production which begins performances here at the Royal George Theatre, Sept. 24, and officially opens Oct. 2.

Tickets for this unique presentation are priced at $18 ($10 for Spertus members and $8 for students).   Tickets can be purchased by visiting or calling 312.322.1773.

OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES, directed by Marc Bruni (Associate Director, The Book of Mormon Chicago), is a comedy that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present.  The show also features comic songs – brand new and satisfyingly old – as well as tributes to some of the giants of the comedy world and, the website created by Sam Hoffman that inspired the show.  Gethers and Okrent will discuss how that internet sensation was adapted for the stage, and also provide some expert insight into Jewish humor overall.  The Off-Broadway production of OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES opened to rave reviews in May 2012 at the Westside Theatre; it will run through September 15.

The Chicago production of OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES features a stellar cast of five – Dara CameronAlex GoodrichTim KazurinskyRenee Matthews and Gene Weygandt – and begins performances on the Main Stage of the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted Street, Tuesday, September 24, with an official openingWednesday, October 2.  For more information or to purchase tickets for OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES please visit or call 312.988.9000.


Peter Gethers is President of Random House Studio, as well as an editor and publisher at Random House, Inc., a screenwriter, television writer and producer, novelist, and non-fiction author of the bestselling trilogy about his Scottish Fold cat Norton: The Cat Who Went to Paris, A Cat Abroad and The Cat Who’ll Live Forever. His new novel, Ask Bob, was just published by Henry Holt and Co.  He was also associated with Dan Okrent in the creation of the Rotisserie Baseball League, the 1980 group that started the fantasy sports craze.

Daniel Okrent is a writer and editor, and best known for having served as the first public editor of The New York Times.  He also invented Rotisserie League Baseball, and wrote several books, including Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, which served as a major source for the 2011 Ken Burns/Lynn Novick miniseries “Prohibition.” Most of his career has been spent as an editor, at such places as Alfred A. Knopf and TIME, Inc. His book Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center was a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize in history.

Mike Leiderman is a Chicago journalist, producer and host. He has been a sports anchor at NBC5 and executive producer at WTTW11 and FOX-Chicago. He’s spent 35 years in the Midwest, but honed his sense of humor as a youth in the Catskills, which served him well for his appearances on the Old Jews Telling Jokes website.

OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES is produced by Daniel Okrent and Peter Gethers, and Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch and Marc Routh.

Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch and Marc Routh have produced and managed a wide range of productions for more than 27 years including – A Little Night Music, Hairspray, The Producers, Stomp, The Norman Conquests, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Company, Little Shop of Horrors, The Weir, The Sound of Music, Smokey Joe’s Café, Angels in America, Oleanna, Love Letters, Driving Miss Daisy, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Penn & Teller and many others. Their shows have been awarded 36 Tonys, 47 Drama Desk Awards, 38 Outer Critics Awards, 4 Grammys™, 8 Olivier Awards and 2 Pulitzer Prizes. They have the rare distinction of having won Tony Awards in all four “Best” categories – play, musical, revival of a play and revival of a musical.

Tickets for OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES at the Royal George Theatre are priced at $49 (weekdays) and $59 (Friday-Sunday). All prices do not include a $1 facility fee.  Tickets are now on sale by calling (312) 988-9000; visiting the Royal George Theatre box office, or online at Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are available by calling Group Theater Tix at 312-423-6612 or visiting

For more information on OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES in Chicago, visit .   Follow OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES on Twitter @OldJewsTweeting or on Facebook.

Spertus offers dynamic learning opportunities, rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. Graduate programs and workshops train future leaders and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Public programs—including films, speakers, seminars, and concerts—take place at the Institute’s Michigan Avenue facility, in the Chicago suburbs, and online. For more information, please visit