It’s been 15 years since Avi Hoffman and New York City shared an evening of songs and stories together. Now, he returns with Still Jewish After All These Years, and according to the audience reaction at Monday’s opening, New Yorkers couldn’t be happier. Hoffman’s one-man show about his “meshugene life in the theater” enthralled the crowd. They sang along to Bob Dylan and joined in with familiar catchphrases. They smiled knowingly at memories that, in one way or another, had also been a part of their own lives and jumped to their feet to applaud after the final number. While the show’s star and creator earns his “sage” title with his inarguable talent and knowledge, the performance felt incredibly personal. Hoffman’s long time friend and musical director, Michael Larsen, sat behind the piano and accompanied him onstage. And Hoffman’s mother sat in the audience, cheering him on. It felt like Avi had invited us all into his home to look at photo albums and old videos while we talked about great moments of the past and our hopes for the future.

You may not have followed Yiddish Theatre in the 1960s, but you’ve likely seen Avi Hoffman’s PBS specials: Too Jewish? and Too Jewish Too! Or maybe you’ve seen him on Starz’s Magic City in the recurring role of Sid Raskin. But whether you’ve known him for years or are just getting to know him for the first time, Avi’s warmth, humor, and heart welcome you with open arms and make you feel like you are part of the family.

Don’t miss Still Jewish After All These Years, playing at Stage 72 at The Triad NYC now through October 23rd!