The Roundabout Theatre Company’s Roundabout Underground program gives productions to emerging playwrights. Last year, they had a hit with Bad Jews - a play by Joshua Harmon, directed by Daniel Aukin.
The show did so well in their 62-seat Black Box Theatre, in fact, that they brought it back to run in the Laura Pels Theatre (their bigger-small space) as part of their season this year - where it continues to earn excellent reviews and enthusiastic response from audiences.
In the play a young Jewish woman, Diana (played by Tracee Chimo, she prefers to be called by her Hebrew name, Daphna) fights with her cousin, Liam, to get a religious relic left behind by their recently deceased grandfather - who had kept it safe during his years in a concentration camp by holding it beneath his tongue. Liam’s brother (Jonah, played by Philip Ettinger) and girlfriend (Melody, played by Molly Ranson) observe and reluctantly weigh-in as Daphna and Liam argue and insult-sling as only family can.
Michael Zegen plays Liam in Bad Jews. Zegen attended Skidmore College and his other Off-Broadway credits include Liz Meriwether’s Oliver Parker! and Greg Moss’ punkplay. On television he’s been featured in recurring roles on The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, How to Make It in America, Rescue Me, and he’ll appear in the upcoming season of the HBO hit, Girls. His film credits include Adventureland, Taking Woodstock, and Frances Ha.