Joan Rivers & Grandma Gilda: Diamonds to Meshuggah

Photo Oct 25, 9 22 12 PMTo celebrate the Jewish holiday of Shabbat, the ladies in my family decided to have a night out on the town, just like any good Jewish woman would do on Shabbat. . .that’s a joke. Joan Rivers was in town, it was a call for celebration, and a more than legitimate excuse to skip the challah and brisket for martinis and laughs.

My bubbe, whom I refer to as Grandma Gilda, is fond of Rivers. First of all, Grandma Gilda is smokin’ for being almost 90, drinks beer so dark the brewers get scared and could more than likely run laps around an Olympic runner. She had been looking forward to this night for a while.

Two weeks before the show, I received a text from my father saying I was taking grandma to see Joan Rivers. I was totally cool with this — I knew I’d get to drive her luxury vehicle around town, eat and drink good, and top it off with some laughs. This Shabbat was like none other. Grandma Gilda always says that if I don’t bring her (in a typical Jewish grandmother’s voice):

That dark beer from Thirsty Dog next time I come home…”

…la la la la, I was going to be in trouble. Being that the show was at PlayhouseSquare, it’s only fitting that when you’re in Cleveland you drink Cleveland beer; hence, Grandma Gilda would get served Great Lakes brews ( I’ll get her Thirsty Dog next time).

Photo Oct 25, 5 49 11 PMEdmond Fitzgerald and Blackout Stout were the beers Grandma Gilda decided to taste — going with Edmond Fitzgerald because she said that it tasted like real beer.

SHOW TIME! Grandma Gilda was dressed to impress. She had every mink from here to California on and even slipped her feet into heels. She was sitting front row and Joan Rivers was not going to be better dressed than her. It was a competition of diamonds that soon turned into a night of meshuggah.

The Northcoast Men’s Chorus blasted the stage with oldies tunes and told our boyfriends they don’t want us.

Photo Oct 25, 8 14 13 PMSpewing F-bombs left and right, Joan Rivers entered the stage in a glitzed-out purple fur robe with lines that had Grandma Gilda’s hearing aid saying, “Oy Vey.”

Grandma Gilda waited eagerly to let Joan know that her parents were from Russia as well. She kept saying (once again in a typical Jewish Grandmother’s voice):


From here on out the rest is history. Until Grandma Gilda swore Joan’s massive ring the size of a golden-fried latke wasn’t real. Hello Gilda, it’s real! It’s shining from PlayhouseSquare to Cedar Point.

Photo Oct 25, 9 24 38 PM


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