Congregation Rodeph Shalom Presents THE SOAP MYTH For One Night Only
Congregation Rodeph Shalom, in association with Burke Cohen Entertainment, presents seven time Emmy Award winner Ed Asner and two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award nominee Johanna Day in a one-night only performance of Jeff Cohen's powerful play The Soap Myth on Wednesday, January 31st at 7 pm at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, (615 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia). The play, directed by Pam Berlin, is part of a tribute to the United Nation's International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27), the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Tickets starting at $18 are available at soapmyth.eventbrite.com. Patron level tickets, which include a patron party and a post-play reception with the actors following the show, are also available at soapmyth.eventbrite.com.
The legendary Ed Asner (who is beloved for the character of Lou Grant and the 2009 feature film "UP") will play the role of Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman and Johanna Day (Sweat and Proof) will play the dual roles of Holocaust scholar Esther Feinman and Holocaust denier Brenda Goodsen. The cast also includes Blair Baker (Broadway's The Humans and Oleanna) as journalist Annie Blumberg and Ned Eisenberg (Broadway's Six Degrees of Separation) in multiple roles.
The Soap Myth takes place more than a half century after the end of WWII when a young journalist sets out to write an article about a cantankerous Holocaust survivor and his crusade regarding the Nazi atrocity of soap. The Soap Myth dramatically explores how a survivor survives surviving and questions who has the right to write history - those who have lived it and remember, those who study and protect it, or those who would seek to distort and desecrate its very existence.
The Soap Myth was produced Off Broadway at the Roundabout Theater's Harold & Mimi Steinberg Theater Center 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 the Britain's Digital Theatre. The Philadelphia production is part of a seven-city East Coast tour.
"Congregation Rodeph Shalom is committed to engaging the community in support of Jewish arts and culture as an expression of our values and tradition, and we look forward to presenting this moving play in our sanctuary, whose grandeur magnifies the power of the drama," said Catherine Fischer, Director of Congregational Advancement.
"We are grateful for this opportunity to invite the Philadelphia community into our sacred space and to find meaning in this powerful experience," continued Senior Rabbi Jill Maderer.
Congregation Rodeph Shalom (RS), founded in 1795, is the oldest Ashkenazic congregation in the Western Hemisphere and the largest synagogue in Philadelphia. The congregation creates a Jewish community of profound connections through transformative study, prayer and urban engagement.
For further information, please contact Congregation Rodeph Shalom at 215-627-6747.
ED ASNER (Milton Saltzman ): Versatile, committed, eloquent and talented are all adjectives that describe 7-Time Emmy Award and 5-Time Golden Globe Award-winning actor Ed Asner. While beloved for his star turn as Carl Fredricksen in Pixar's 2009 box-office-hit UP!, Asner is best known for his comedic and dramatic talent as the gruff but soft-hearted journalist Lou Grant, the role he originated on the landmark TV news room comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and continued in the newspaper-set drama Lou Grant, which earned him five Emmys and three Golden Globe Awards. Asner received two more Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots. Asner served as National President of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1996 and 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.
Johanna Day (Esther Feinman and Brenda Goodsen): Johanna Day is a two-time Tony Award nominee for her performances in two Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, Sweat by Lynn Nottage (2017) and Proof by David Auburn (2000). Other Broadway credits include her roles as Mrs. Kirby in the 2014 revival of You Can't Take It With You and as Barbara Fordham in the 2007 production of August: Osage County. The winner of an Obie Award for Best Actress in a Play for her role in Appropriate at Signature Theatre, she also won the Helen Hayes Award as Leading Actress in a Resident Play for her starring role in The Rainmaker at Arena Stage, where she also was featured in Quality of Life and Good People. She has also been nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for her role of Ann in the Second Stage Theatre production of Edward Albee's Peter and Jerry. On television, she has been a recurring guest on Madam Secretary as well as on Escape from Dannemora, The Blacklist, The Affair, The Americans and Masters of Sex.
Blair Baker (Annie Blumberg) has appeared on Broadway in Oleanna and in the Tony Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize finalist drama The Humans. She is co-founder of Missing Bolts Productions and a graduate of the Atlantic Theatre Company Acting Conservatory.
Ned Eisenberg (multiple roles) has appeared on Broadway in Six Degrees of Separation (with Allison Janney and John Benjamin Hickey), Rocky, Golden Boy, Awake and Sing (Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Ensemble) and The Green Bird. Off-Broadway credits include his Lortel nominated performance as Iago in Othello, Fagin in Oliver Twist and the title role in Shakespeare's King John. Regional credits include Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls and Menachim Begin in Camp David. His feature films include Asher, Experimentor, Won't Back Down, Limitless, Flags of Our Fathers and the Oscar winning Million Dollar Baby.
PAM BERLIN (Director): Pamela Berlin's New York directing credits include Endpapers at the Variety Arts Theatre, Steel Magnolias, which ran for three years off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday (Ensemble Studio Theatre and Circle in the Square downtown), The Cemetery Club (Broadway), Crossing Delancey (Jewish Rep), Joined At The Head and Pretty Fire (Manhattan Theatre Club), The Family O. Mann and The Red Address (Second Stage), Three In The Back, Two In The Head (MCC), Black Ink and Elm Circle (Playwrights Horizons), Snowing At Delphi and Club Soda (WPA), Family Ties and numerous one-acts in the Marathon at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Regionally, she has directed at such theatres as the Kennedy Center, Seattle Rep, Long Wharf, Huntington, Pittsburgh Public, Pasadena Playhouse, Theatreworks PaloAlto, Virginia Stage Co. and Portland Stage. She taught directing in the MFA program at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, acting in the MFA program at Brooklyn College, and frequently directs at Juilliard and the NYU Graduate Acting Program. Berlin served as the President of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers from 2000 to 2006.
Jeff Cohen (Playwright/Producer): 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 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). Cohen is also 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, Mario Cantone, and received a special 2002 Drama Desk Award.