Phish’s Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon were recently spotted hanging out with the Spin Doctors’ Chris Barron, at the Broadway premiere for The Other Josh Cohen.
The Other Josh Cohen opened off-Broadway on November 12th, kicking off a four-month limited engagement at NYC’s Westside Theatre. The new musical, which premiered in 2012 at the SoHo Playhouse, was nominated for six Drama Desk Awards and the Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical before heading to Paper Mill Playhouse for a sold-out run.
The Other Josh Cohen features a book, music, and lyrics by David Rossmer and Steve Rosen (the duo behind Don’t Quit Your Night Job), who return to co-star in the title roles under the direction of Tony nominee Hunter Foster.
Joining Rosen and Rossmer in the cast at the Westside Theatre are Kate Wetherhead (Legally Blonde), Hannah Elless (Bright Star), Elizabeth Nestlerode (Once tour), Luke Darnell (Million Dollar Quartet Vegas), and Louis Tucci (Buddy); Zach Spound (Cruel Intentions: The Musical) serves as swing.
Regarding the musical’s plot, the New York Times reports:
Mr. Rosen plays Josh Cohen as he was a year ago, in the midst of a series of travails that will be familiar to young New Yorkers of any era. Hoping to be a writer, he scrapes by as a temp; hoping for love, he strikes out embarrassingly with every at-bat.
And now, in the run-up to Valentine’s Day — that trial by fire for the lonely — he comes home to find his shabby apartment fully cleaned out by a burglar, except for things he never wanted. A Neil Diamond CD. A “Hang In There, Kitty” page-a-day calendar.
This would be depressing, in the cute musical comedy manner, were it not for the constant presence of the upbeat Mr. Rossmer, who narrates the story from a happier place a year later. We see right away that things turned out well because this so-called Narrator Josh, dressed (by Nicole V. Moody) exactly like Mr. Rosen’s Josh, has lost both weight and an unfortunate mustache.
Though Narrator Josh cannot directly shape the past in which regular Josh is moping, he can certainly shape our view of it. With lyrics like “Losing everything is only the beginning,” he lets us know that the tide will soon turn. Perhaps not quite soon enough; even at 90 minutes this is something of a shaggy dog — or shaggy kitten — story.
But the shagginess pays off once Josh receives a mysterious letter from a woman in Florida who may or may not be a relative. (His “immigrant horndog” great-grandfather left a lot of Cohens strewn about.) The letter includes a gift that will supercharge Josh’s life if only he can accept it.
For tickets and more information on The Other Josh Cohen, head to the musical’s website here.
— Chris Barron (@thechrisbarron) November 13, 2018