Wednesdays through Sundays through Sept. 21, Brad Zimmerman offers his funny (and strangely moving) one-man show, My Son the Waiter, A Jewish Tragedy!

Brad Zimmerman

Brad Zimmerman

The show, presented in the Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre by Philip Roger Roy and Dana Matthow, is a witty and “bittersweet tale of [Zimmerman’s] 29-year struggle to ‘make it’ in New York as an actor and comedian, while ‘temporarily’ waiting tables to make a living. His stories about family, career, childhood and a misbegotten love life are as warm and poignant as they are hilarious!” (according to the publicity).

Except for those who chose their parents wisely and are born rich, all would-be artists must suffer the indignities and longeurs of the dreaded “day job.” These are often menial, and seldom pay very well. Perhaps because the job allows some form of personal interaction with the general public, and perhaps because it entails a kind of performance, many aspiring actors and entertainers get work as waiters.

Zimmerman’s temporary day job lasted some 29 years, during which he was not without his triumphs, including the late Joan Rivers (1933-2014) saying, “I’ve had three great opening acts in my lifetime: Billy Crystal, Gary Shandling and Brad Zimmerman.”

But it must have seemed, for the most part, a hell of a long slog with not much to show for it. (As you will learn for yourselves, it was not lack of comedic talent that kept Zimmerman waiting tables all those years.)

Then, he had the blinding inspiration to turn circumstances to his advantage, as material, and My Son the Waiter is the absorbing and delightful result.

Tickets to My Son the Waiter are $59 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances) and $49 (Wednesday and Thursday performances) and are available at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza box office in person; at any Ticketmaster retail location; by phone at 800.745.3000; or online by clicking here.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at The opinions expressed are his own.