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Jewish Journal

Passover vs. Easter

bang. Improv Studio takes a fun look at the two holidays


by Naomi Pfefferman

March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

If you want proof that the communion wafer is just a matzo knockoff, or if you wonder where eggs really belong (seder plate? White House lawn? Omelette?), check out "The Jews vs. Christians" on April 3 at bang. Improv Studio on Fairfax Avenue.

Twenty-four Jewish and Christian members of bang., considered "an alternative to the alternative" on the local improv scene, will put up their comedy dukes erev Easter in the heart of Jewish Los Angeles at bang.'s storefront theater up the block from Canter's.

With guest stars from Chicago's famed Second City, they'll improvise 25-minute sets on what really happened during the Exodus and the Crucifixion, maybe even invent a musical, "Pesach!" the Jewish answer to "Godspell."

"The Jews vs. Christians," the brainchild of bang. conservatory alumnus Ben Simonetti, is an improvisational Holy War that began last December when performers debated the merits of latkes vs. sugarplums. One religious group will be declared victorious at the end of next week's Passover-Easter show -- at least until the next grudge match at Christmas-Chanukah.

bang., deemed Los Angeles' best comedy bargain by Buzz Weekly, was co-founded in 1995 by Aliza and Peter Murrieta, who met at Second City and have battled the December dilemma in their real-life mixed marriage.

She's Jewish; he's a Mexican-American lapsed Catholic. And, yes, they'll be playing on opposite teams in "The Jews vs. Christians."

The show is subversive, Aliza says. "It sounds like it's based in conflict, but the truth is, we're all working together to create something fun."

"The Jews vs. Christians" plays on Saturday, April 3, at 8 p.m. At bang., 457 N. Fairfax Ave. Tickets are $6, and reservations are strongly advised: (323) 653-6886.

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