BWW Reviews: THE OTHER JOSH COHEN - Paper Mill's Wonderful, Original Musical Comedy
The Paper Mill Playhouse 75th Anniversary Season continues with The Other Josh Cohen, a show that will delight metropolitan area audiences, now showing through March 16th.
We've all had our Josh Cohen moments, rough days and bad breaks. Area audiences will relish the opportunity to see The Other Josh Cohen, a musical comedy that is totally relatable. It delivers plenty of laughs, endearing sentiments and songs that you will long remember.
The book, music and lyrics are by David Rossmer and Steve Rosen. This musical comedy was originally staged Off-Broadway. At Paper Mill Playhouse, Director Ted Sperling, leads an extraordinary creative team to give the production a comfortable home on the big stage.
Josh Cohen is in middle of a rough patch with no end in sight; his apartment has been robbed, he's underemployed and unsuccessful in romance. With each passing Valentine's Day, his disappointments loom large and the pattern is hard to ignore. From February 15th cheap chocolate binges, to "things will get better" family phone calls, you may ask if Cohen is going to finally catch a break. Could a mysterious letter be a harbinger of good luck? Or, is it true that "nice guys finish last."
The staging is truly ingenious. While Josh Cohen (Steve Rosen) lives through his unfortunate dilemmas, Narrator Josh Cohen (David Rossmer) has the future perspective and lends sensibility to the scene and some fine acoustic guitar. Dressed almost identically, the interplay between the two makes for comedic moments but also gives a better understanding of Josh Cohen's character. Rosen is ideal in his role, dejected, yet hopeful and Rossmer chronicles events with just the right mood.
With talented actors doubling as musicians on stage, the company is adept at assuming multiple roles; you might think it is a much larger cast. Musical Director and keyboardist, Vadim Feichtner has the part of Josh's father down, a dentist who creates a long, rambling phone message and pager instructions. Kate Wetherhead appears and reappears commanding a multitude of roles including a stand-out Neil Diamond spot. Hannah Ellis is great on drums, and also as one of Josh's romantic interests in college. Cathryn Salamone stuns with her musical versatility while neatly moving through her roles. Bassist, Ken Triwush rounds out the band while keeping the laughs coming as one of Josh's employers and a confused neighbor.
The musical numbers are spontaneous and fit in seamlessly; the hallmark of a well conceived production. Original songs like Neil Life, Samuel Cohen's Family Tree, and Hang On make the show a happening.
Instead of revealing a terrific ending, we suggest you gather your group, plan a visit to Paper Mill Playhouse and have fun finding out more about The Other Josh Cohen.
The Other Josh Cohen will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are on sale now and range from $27.00 to $98.00. Tickets may be purchased by calling (973) 376-4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office, 22 Brookside Drive in Milburn or online at www.papermill.org.