Ed Asner to Star in THE SOAP MYTH National Tour
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 05:56 pm EDT 03/14/19

Seven-Time Emmy Award & Five-Time Golden Globe Winner
To Star in National Tour of

By Jeff Cohen

A Tribute to Yom HaShoah

Performances in Tampa, Sarasota, Wilmington and Hartford
To Co-Star Two-Time Emmy Award and Four-Time Tony Award Nominee

“A revelation! Thought-provoking and genuinely moving.
A pointed investigation of the politics of history”
-The New York Times

“Theater-of-witness at its best!”
-The Jewish Voice

“A powerful Holocaust drama!”

“The Soap Myth is extraordinarily well done. I urge audiences to go see it.”
-Michael Berenbaum, Project Director of The US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Beginning Monday, April 15, 2019 and continuing through Tuesday, May 7, seven-time Emmy Award and five-time Golden Globe Award winner Ed Asner will star as Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman in a national tour of concert readings of Jeff Cohen’s play The Soap Myth. The tour includes stops in Tampa, FL; Sarasota, FL; Wilmington, DE; Hartford, CT; Milwaukee, WI; Carmel, IN; St. Louis, MO; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; and Pittsburgh, PA. The readings are directed by Pam Berlin.

Alongside Mr. Asner, Two-time Emmy Award and four-time Tony Award nominee Tovah Feldshuh returns the dual roles of Holocaust scholar Esther Feinman and Holocaust denier Benda Goodsen from April 15 to April 24, following her performance in the roles in an East Coast tour earlier this year. Dee Pelletier, who originated the roles in the acclaimed 2012 production at the Roundabout Black Box, takes over for Ms. Feldshuh on April 29, through the conclusion of the tour on May 5. The cast of The Soap Myth also includes Drama Desk Award winner Ned Eisenberg in various roles and Liba Vaynberg as journalist Annie Blumberg.

The performances are part of Remembrance Readings - a tribute to 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, on a crusade about including “soap” in Holocaust museums – Did the Nazis make soap from the corpses of murdered Jews? Along the way, the play grapples with the pernicious evil of antisemitism masquerading as Holocaust denial. The play tackles such timely and provocative themes as how a survivor survives surviving, who has the right to write history and how we determine the truth.

Mr. Cohen, commenting on recent tragic events in the Jewish community and the frightening rise of antisemitism, observes: “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 is widely known to television audiences for her recurring guest star roles on “The Walking Dead” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

The complete schedule of performances is as follows:

· Monday, April 15th – Bryan Glazer Family JCC, 522 N. Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33606

· Tuesday, April 16th – Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236

· Tuesday, April 23rd – Delaware Theatre Company, 200 Water St., Wilmington, DE 19801

· Wednesday April 24th – Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford, 335 Bloomfield Ave., Hartford, CT 06117

· Monday, April 29th – Congregation Shalom, 7630 Santa Monica Blvd., Milwaukee, WI 53217

· Tuesday, May 30th – The Palladium at The Center for the Performing Arts, One Center Green, Carmel, IN 46032

· Thursday/Friday, May 2nd & 3rd – Congregation Temple Israel, 21 Rabbi Alvan D. Rubin Dr., St. Louis, MO 63141

· Saturday, May 4th – The Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center, Case Western University, 1855 Ansel Rd., Cleveland, OH 44106

· Sunday, May 5th – Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus, 1125 College Ave. Columbus, OH 43209

· Monday & Tuesday, May 6th & 7th – Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, 826 Hazelwood Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15217

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. To see Channel 13’s Metrofocus January 2019 segment with Mr. Asner and Tovah Feldshuh go to, https://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2019/01/international-holocaust-remembrance-day/.

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 Glass with 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, 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.

PAM BERLIN (Director) 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 of 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 Red, A Moon for The Misbegotten, Clybourne Park, A Streetcar Named Desire, Copenhagen, Tea, The Loudest Man On Earth, Dancing At Lughnasa, The Playboy of The Western World, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Plough And The Stars, Talley’s Folly, True West, On The Verge, Translations, and Joe Egg, among others, at such theatres as the Kennedy Center, Seattle Rep, Long Wharf, Huntington, Pittsburgh Public, Pasadena Playhouse, Theatreworks Palo Alto, Virginia Stage Co. and Portland Stage. Opera credits include La Traviata, Rigoletto, Madame Butterfly, Lucia Di Lammermoor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Eugene Onegin, Cold Sassy Tree, Of Mice and Men, Bernstein’s Mass, and the world premiere of Pocahontas. She has participated in the Sundance Playwrights Institute, Chautauqua, Theatreworks Palo Alto, Cape Cod Theatre Project, and the New York Theatre Workshop Dartmouth Summer Residency. 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. Pamela served as the President of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers from 2000 to 2006.


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