ABBIE Begins Run At West End Theater 1/6
ABBIE, Bern Cohen's moving portrait of the passionate and outspoken radical, begins its premiere run January 6th, running thru January 29th at the West End Theatre on 86th Street. In the 1970's, actor and educator Bern Cohen became invariably connected to political activist Abbie Hoffman when Ohio police arrested and interrogated him under false pretenses...that he was Hoffman. They did look very much alike and for all of his early adult life Cohen was mistaken for him and now, nearly forty years after that incident in Ohio, with special permission from Hoffman's wife Cohen has arranged and adaptEd Hoffman's own writings and speeches into ABBIE.
Produced by Cohen, and Jason Scheff, ABBIE is a politically charged exploration into the life of Abbie Hoffman, the activist who was a member of the infamous "Chicago Eight" and known to many as "The Clown Prince of the Sixties Revolution." This one-man show will give audiences a compelling inside look of what life was like as a leader of the anti-establishment, revealing the emotional stress caused by his underground hiding, the effects of beatings at the hands of hateful police, and other conflicts which eventually overwhelmed him, resulting in his suicide over two decades ago. Featuring direction from Thomas Caruso (Mimi Le Duck starring Earth Kitt, Associate Director of Bombay Dreams and Follies on Broadway), and using Hoffman's own words alongside historical footage, archived photos and digital projections (designed by video artist Morgan Paul Freeman, who has worked with The Black-Eyed Peas and Erykah Badu), the production aims to create a unique theatrical experience that exposes the little-known private side of Abbie Hoffman, whose work and ideas remain the beliefs of many activists today.
Bern Cohen has had a diverse career as an actor and educator, where among many things, he has appeared in the films Holy Rollers (starring Jesse Eisenberg) and 27 Dresses (starring Katherine Heigl) and served as a consultant to National Geographic, WNET, and dozens of school districts after he wrote several college textbooks in the field of education which brought him national prominence as an educational consultant. He was also a high ranking member of the NYC Chancellor's Office where he was Director of Training for the entire NYC school system, overseeing a staff of more than 300 teacher trainers and managers.
The production team for ABBIE also includes Penny Bittone (assistant producer), Wendy Czerwinski (production manager), Morgan Paul Freeman (projection design), Brittany Gischner (assistant to the director), Sean Ryan (technical director), and Zach Spitzer (lighting designer).
ABBIE runs January 6th thru January 29th at the West End Theatre (at the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew at 263 W. 86th Street), with performances Wed-Sat at 8PM and Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2PM. Tickets, priced at $38, can be purchased online at www.SmartTix.com or by phone at 212-868-4444.