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It is August 1968 at the Pine Glade Bungalow Colony and we are waiting for this evening’s entertainment to begin. Henry Simons, Pine Glade’s favourite Jewish comic has not shown. Famous for his endless stream of dirty Jewish jokes, Henry’s wife, Biddy Schitzerman, (he changed it) a quiet, lumpy 50 year old mother of four, reluctantly arrives on stage to inform Henry’s loyal audience he been taken to hospital.

After nervously reading out the Colony’s announcements she takes pity on the obviously disappointed audience and reluctantly tells the one joke she knows from Henry’s act. It turns to another. Soon Biddy reveals her own life source.  Her mother and 3 aunts, The MARTZ Sisters for years met once a week in the coffee shop of Gimbel’s Department store to share jokes they’d invented.  Biddy was initiated into the Gimbel’s Girls, at age 7, a natural joke teller.

After she grew up, got married and her aunts moved away, it was Biddie who carefully catalogued all their shared correspondence jokes written over the years. As Biddy tells stories about her mother, her aunts and the brilliant original MARTZ Sisters’ jokes are flying, filthy and not so filthy, Biddy is blossoming for the first time in years. Before long Biddy realizes she has spent her life serving dinners to someone she didn’t really know.

How does laughter help? A LOT. This work is in progress.

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