Isaac Bashevis Singer's Chelm stories are rife with laughter and insight on the nature of humanity. Chelm is populated by foolish people; nonetheless, these fools often stumble on the truth -- sometimes tuchus first, but it doesn't always matter how you get there, it's where you end up. In Robert Brustein's musical adaptation of these stories, Shlemiel the First, the shlemiel in question is named Shlemiel. The village elders send him on a journey to share Chelm's wisdom with the wider world, and this journey brings poor Shlemiel to a world that's slightly less foolish, but still in need of a good-hearted simpleton. It's a rollicking story of ending up right where you belong, with many a detour along the way, set to a boisterous klezmer score performed by a live band. The New Jewish Theatre gets foolish at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday (May 16 through June 9) at the Wool Studio Theatre at the Jewish Community Center (2 Millstone Campus Drive, Creve Coeur; 314-442-3283 or www.newjewishtheatre.org). Tickets are $35 to $39.
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays. Starts: May 16. Continues through June 9, 2013