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Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh Star in a Concert Reading of Jeff Cohen’s Play The Soap Myth

Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh Star in a Concert Reading of Jeff Cohen’s Play The Soap Myth
Ed Asner, Tovah Feldshuh

Ed Asner, Tovah Feldshuh

Beginning Sunday, January 20, 2019 and continuing through Tuesday, January 29, seven-time Emmy Award and five-time Golden Globe Award winner Ed Asner and two-time Emmy Award & four-time Tony Award nominee Tovah Feldshuh will star in an East Coast tour of concert readings of Jeff Cohen’s play The Soap Myth, with cities to include Baltimore, MD; Wilmington, DE; Tenafly, NJ; Commack, Long Island; and New York City. This East Coast tour will be followed in April & May 2019 by the second leg of the tour which will include such cities as Sarasota, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; Columbus, OH; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; St. Louis, MO; and Terre Haute, IN. The cast of The Soap Myth also includes Ned Eisenberg in various roles and Liba Vaynberg as Annie Blumberg.

The readings, directed by Pam Berlin, will serve as a tribute to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed each year on January 27th and Yom HaShoah, observed on May 1, 2019.
The play dramatizes the friendship that develops between a young Jewish journalist (Annie Blumberg) and a cantankerous Holocaust survivor (Milton Saltzman) and poses the question of whether the Nazis made soap from the bodies of murdered Jews. The play tackles such provocative themes as how a survivor survives surviving and who has the right to write history.
Mr. Cohen, commenting on recent tragic events in the Jewish community, observes: “In light of the tragic mass murder in a Pittsburgh synagogue and the virulent rise of antisemitism, Holocaust education is more important than ever. I feel a renewed urgency to fight the tide of hatred using the weapons I possess – words and ideas.”
Mr. Asner is beloved for such legendary roles as Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Lou Grant, Santa Claus in the Will Farrell-comedy Elf and Carl Fredrickson in the smash animated feature Up. This marks the third year that he will perform the role of Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman in The Soap Myth. Ms. Feldshuh, who is the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award and the Israel Peace Medal, is adored for her portrayal of such roles as Israel Prime Minister Golda Meir in Golda’s Balcony, the longest running one-woman play in Broadway history, and her Emmy Award nominated character Danielle Melnick on NBC’s Law & Order.  This will be the second year that Ms. Feldshuh will perform the dual roles of Holocaust scholar Esther Feinman and pernicious Holocaust denier Brenda Goodsen in The Soap Myth.
  • Wednesday, January 23rd – B’nai Jeshurun, 257 West 88th Street, New York NY
  • Sunday, January 27th – Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, 411 East Clinton Avenue, Tenafly, NJ
  • Monday, January 28th – Center at West Park, 164 W. 86th St @ Amsterdam Avenue, New York City
The Soap Myth was originally produced Off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theater in 2012 by the National Jewish Theater Foundation. A film of that production was broadcast nationally on PBS and is in the permanent collection of Britain’s Digital Theatre. For a preview of Mr. Asner’s performance (alongside two-time Tony Award nominee Johanna Day in 2018), watch the trailer on Vimeo.
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Ed Asner (Milton Saltzman). Versatile, committed, eloquent and talented are all adjectives that describe actor, activist, and seven-time Emmy Award-winning actor Ed Asner. He is most well-known for his portrayal of gruff but soft-hearted Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and subsequently in his own hour-long drama spinoff, “Lou Grant,” a role which earned him five Emmys and three Golden Globes. Asner received two more Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots. Mr. Asner also starred as the voice of Carl Fredricksen in Pixar’s 2009 box office hit UP! and as Santa Claus in the holiday classic Elf opposite Will Ferrell. He most recently starred in the feature films Honor Amongst Men alongside Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Jett, Angels on Tap opposite Marion Ross, and The Parting Glasswith Melissa Leo, Cynthia Nixon, Denis O’Hare, and Anna Paquin, as well as appearances in television shows “Forgive Me,” “Cobra Kai,” “Michael: Every Day,” “The Good Wife,” and “Bones,” among many others. Mr. Asner recently completed his work on the feature film Faith, Hope & Love with Michael Richards and Corbin Bernsen, as well as Senior Entourage with Mark Rydell, Helen Reddy, and Marion Ross. He has lent his distinct vocal talents to numerous animated shows, including “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “The Boondocks,” “King of the Hill,” “Johnny Bravo,” “Spider-Man,” “Gargoyles,” and “Captain Planet and the Planeteers.” Ed continues to do his one-man show A Man and His Prostate, written by Ed Weinberger. Asner’s additional credits include the NBC telefilm Buddy The Elf, the Hallmark telefilm All of My Heart starring Lacey Chabert, the CBS series “Criminal Minds” starring Joe Mantegna, “Hawaii 5-0” starring Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, “Mom” starring Allison Janney, “The Crazy Ones” with the late Robin Williams, as well as “Chasing Life” with Marion Ross for ABC Family and the TBS primetime series “Men At Work.” He and starred opposite Markie Post in the Lifetime telefilm Christmas On the Bayou. Asner returned to Broadway in the Fall of 2013 starring in the comedy drama Grace opposite Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon and Kate Arrington, written by Craig Wright and directed by Dexter Bullard. He’s also been touring the country as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the critically acclaimed one man show FDR for over 5 years.
One of the most honored actors in the history of television, Edward Asner has been the recipient of seven Emmy Awards and 16 nominations, as well as five Golden Globe Awards and served as National President of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1996. Asner received the Ralph Morgan Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2000, presented periodically for distinguished service to the Guild’s Hollywood membership. In March 2002, he was again honored by The Guild as the 38th recipient of the prestigious Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment, presented annually to an actor who fosters the highest ideals of the profession.
Tovah Feldshuh (Esther Feinman/Brenda Goodsen) For her critically acclaimed work on the New York stage, Ms. Feldshuh has earned four Tony nominations for Best Actress and won four Drama Desks, four Outer Critics Circles, the Obie, the Theatre World and the Lucille Lortel Award. Her show, Golda’s Balcony by William Gibson, became the longest-running one-woman play in Broadway history. Her additional Broadway credits include the titular role in Yentl, Sarava, Lend Me a Tenor, Irena’s Vow, and most recently starred as Berthe in the Tony Award-winning revival of Pippin. She also has a storied career as a cabaret artist, touring her show Tovah: Out of Her Mind! internationally and selling out an eight-week run on London’s West End. On television, Ms. Feldshuh received her first Emmy nomination for Helena, the Czech freedom fighter, in the NBC mini-series Holocaust, and her second nomination for her continuing role as defense attorney Danielle Melnick on NBC’s “Law & Order.” She is widely known for her starring roles on TV’s “The Walking Dead” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”  Film credits include Kissing Jessica Stein (Golden Satellite Award), A Walk on the Moon, The Idolmaker, and Brewster’s Millions. Other recent credits include She’s Funny That Way with Jennifer Aniston & Owen Wilson, Angelica with Janet McTeer & Jena Malone, a recurring role as President of the United States on TV’s “Salvation,” and the title role in Glinda (“Best in Fest”- ‘14 Palm Beach Film Festival.) Long known for her commitment to social justice causes, Ms. Feldshuh is the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award, the Hadassah Mother of the Year Award, and the Israel Peace Medal.
JEFF COHEN (Playwright). As a playwright, Jeff Cohen is known for original work and adaptations including The Soap Myth, Men Of Clay – a memoir about his father Stan “Squeaky” Cohen and tennis in 1970s Baltimore (Best New Play, Baltimore City Paper), The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller – adapted from the Christopher Stokes short story (Critics Pick, The New York Times and Time Out New York), Whoa-Jack! – his racially-charged adaptation of Woyzeck starring Golden Globe nominee Michael Ealy (AUDELCO Award), and The Seagull/The Hamptons, his highly-acclaimed American adaptation of The Seagull whose various productions have featured Tammy Grimes, D.B. Sweeney, Marin Hinkle, Lizbeth Mackay, Neil Huff, and the New York stage debut of Laura Linney (Ten Best of the Year – The Boston Globe). He has recently finished two new plays: Righteous, about a “righteous gentile” who warned the world about the Final Solution in August, 1942, and Squeaky Cohen, a sequel to Men of Clay about end-of-life events with his father Stan “Squeaky” Cohen.  Mr. Cohen was founder and artistic director of three small but significant Off-Broadway theaters – the RAPP Arts Center, the Worth Street Theater Company/Tribeca Playhouse, and Dog Run Rep. Directing highlights include Christopher Shinn’s Four (New York Times Critics Pick, Lortel Award, Drama Desk nominee), Tristine Skyler’s The Moonlight Room (Critics Pick and Annual Ten Best list – New York Times, two Lortel nominations, Outer Critics nominee) and Marlene Meyer’s The Mystery of Attraction (Obie Award). Mr. Cohen is best known for his signature theatrical event responding to the Attacks of 9/11, THE TRIBECA PLAYHOUSE STAGE DOOR CANTEEN – a 10-week USO style variety show to “entertain the troops” (the rescue and recovery workers at Ground Zero) that featured such stars as Kristin Chenoweth, Sandy Duncan, Phylicia Rashad, Colin Quinn, and Mario Cantone, which received a special 2002 Drama Desk Award.

Off Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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