Bust A Shalom
Written and directed by Ashley Senter

Here I, Bonnie Steiger am putting the sign on the
temple announcing my son's Bar Mitzvah reception

Ashley was a film student at the Academy of Art University at the time. She told me that, sadly, much of this film is autobiographical. Simply, if possible, the story is -- I, Barbara, divorced my first husband, Artie, got a great settlement thanks to my divorce attorney, Mark, whom I later marry. My ex-husband and I have a teenage daughter, Abby. My present husband has a son, Michael, from a previous marriage. Artie has remarried to Julie, who is very bitter about my lucrative settlement, and they have a 13 year old son, Robbie. My second husband, Mark, and I also have a 13 year old son, David. It's time for their Bar Mitzvahs.
The war begins! Julie, in an attempt to sabotage my son's Bar Mitzvah reception, has booked the same location for her son's Bar Mitzvah reception. She tries to tempt away the guests with hints of surprise celebrity guests, better food, better entertainment, etc. Here, we duke it out with insults in front of the reception building. My husband is richer and taller. I obviously have the advantage. But Julie is out for revenge.

Confrontation among dueling Bar Mitzvah parents:
From left to right: Sherman Koltz (Mark), Bonnie Steiger (Barbara)
Katherine Sommers (Julie), Bruce Blau (Artie).

See video equipment to photo right.
While the kids enjoy their matzo ball soup and ladkas...

the parents take yet another opportunity to
verbally lash each other.

Director/actor Ashley and I ponder a shot.
To make this even more complicated and stressful for my character (who tends towards the mystical, the transcendental and all things California), my daughter, Abby (played by director/writer Ashley Senter) and step-son, Michael (played by Ari Zagaris) have their own axes to grind. They, especially my daughter, feel forgotten, left out and neglected. They intend to ruin both Bar Mitzvahs by renting the catering hall directly above both lower bar mitzvah halls, hosting a Rave including a live band playing thunderously loud punk music. They also spike the downstairs wine for both Bar Mitzvahs with acid.

Sherman Koltz (who also played my husband in "The First Time", refer to resume), and I in the reception line greeting guests. Unfortunately, many of the guests go to the other reception by mistake or misdirection. Julie has told them Fred Savage is going to make an appearance.... Fred Savage? We try to maintain our composure with the few who wander in. Here, I compliment a family friend on his losing so much weight. He responds, "You do know I have cancer?"

My trechery directed at Julie and Artie's son's bar mitzvah includes hiring a band to play their receptions - Black Shabbas, a Jews-for-Jesus band that plays heavy metal numbers about Jesus as they proselytize to the crowd.

All hell breaks loose. The riotous guests from the Rave upstairs flood the Bar Mitzvahs. I'm so angry, I join in the food fight, aiming carefully at Julie. My wrath knows no bounds, even though the projectiles are no more dangerous than spaghetti, fresh bagels and salad. Of course, all guests and hosts are stoned and hallucinating.

I get in the spirit of the celebration.
All is forgiven and a good time is had by everyone.
Our rabbi takes control of the situation, gives a rousing speech about the importance of children and family, and we all apologize and party out.

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