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"A JEWISH JOKE" A DRAMA ABOUT COMEDY TO PREMIERE OFF BROADWAY IN MARCH
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:53 am EST 01/08/19

FIRST OFF-BROADWAY ANNOUNCEMENT

WINNER!
“BEST DRAMA” 2016 UNITED SOLO FESTIVAL, NYC

THE ROUSTABOUTS THEATRE CO.
PRESENTS THE OFF-BROADWAY PREMIERE OF
“A JEWISH JOKE”
A DRAMA ABOUT COMEDY
WRITTEN BY MARNI FREEDMAN & PHIL JOHNSON
DIRECTED BY DAVID ELLENSTEIN
PERFORMED BY PHIL JOHNSON

PERFORMANCES BEGIN MARCH 7, 2019
FOR A LIMITED ENGAGEMENT THROUGH MARCH 31, 2019

THE LION THEATRE @ THEATRE ROW
(410 WEST 42nd STREET – BETWEEN 9th & 10th AVENUES)

OPENING NIGHT SET FOR MARCH 13, 2019

TICKETS NOW ON SALE

The Roustabouts Theatre Co. (San Diego, CA) will present the Off-Broadway premiere of A Jewish Joke, a drama about comedy, co-written by Marni Freedman and Phil Johnson, performed by Mr. Johnson and directed by David Ellenstein. Named “Best Drama” (2016 United Solo Festival, NYC), performances of A Jewish Joke will begin on Thursday, March 7 at 8pm (for a limited engagement through March 31, 2019) at The Lion Theatre (at Theatre Row) (410 West 42nd Street – between 9th & 10th Avenues). Opening Night is set for Wednesday, March 13 at 8pm.

In A Jewish Joke Bernie Lutz is a curmudgeonly Jewish comedy screenwriter from MGM, who comes up against the Communist blacklist in 1950’s Hollywood. Now, he has to decide what's more important - his friends, or his livelihood? Armed with stories about the great era of Jewish humor, this poignant solo dramedy is about one American's fight against one of the darkest moments of the mid-20th century. A Jewish Joke began in San Diego and has toured regionally with critically-acclaimed engagements in Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, and New Haven.

The creative team for A Jewish Joke: Aaron Rumley (production design), Jordyn Smiley and Peter Herman (costume designer), and Matt Lescault-Wood (sound design). Michael Joseph Ormond is Production Stage Manager. Rebecca Crigler is General Manager.

A Jewish Joke will play the following performance schedule: Wed– Sat at 8pm & Sun at 3om. There is an additional performance on Tuesday, March 12 at 7pm. Tickets, NOW ON SALE, are priced at $37.25 -$47.25 and may be purchased through TeleCharge.com/212-239-6200 and in person at the Theatre Row box office (410 West 42nd Street) Mon-Sun from 12noon to 8pm (7pm on Sunday).

A brief look at A Jewish Joke here.

BIOS

Phil Johnson (Writer/Actor) is an actor, writer, director and producer, originally from Chicago. He is now a proud founding partner in The Roustabouts Theatre Co. of San Diego. His solo show, A Jewish Joke won Best Drama at the United Solo Fest NYC 2016. Co-written with Marni Freedman, originally directed by David Ellenstein, it premiered in San Diego in 2018 at The Roustabouts (‘Critics’ Choice’, San Diego Union-Tribune), and has been on tour nationally. Phil is a co-writer of She-Rantulas from Outer Space in 3D!, which performed at the NY Fringe Festival, and was published and produced in San Diego; and Withering Heights, also produced in San Diego. Phil was a winner of the San Diego Foundation Creative Catalyst Grant for his original comedy solo play of Hound of the Baskervilles. He teaches and produces a Solo Show Workshop for writer/ performers that is part of The Roustabouts season. The company encourages new local writers from Southern California. He played in Les Miserables on Broadway and on tour; the Canadian production of Sunset Boulevard; and the 1st National Co. of Miss Saigon. He has twice won the San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for acting. West Coast theatres include: San Diego Rep, The Old Globe, North Coast Rep, and others. Phil lives in San Diego with his trauma surgeon/theatre aficionado husband, their son and their dog. Phil’s latest project, with Marni Freedman, is a biographical solo show on Theodore Roosevelt.

Marni Freedman (Writer) Marni Freedman (BFA, LMFT) is a produced, published, and award-winning writer. After graduating as an award-winning student from the USC School of Filmic Writing, Marni began her career with her play, Two Goldsteins on Acid, which was produced in Los Angeles. She worked as a script doctor for top film companies and worked as a script agent for the Mary Sue Seymour Agency. One of her plays was made into a film, Playing Mona Lisa, and was produced by Disney. Marni is the co-founder and Programming Director for The San Diego Writers Festival, whose mission is to gather Southern California writers and creatives for a day of literary celebration, creative expression and most importantly, to promote diversity and inclusion for underserved communities. In essence, her passion is to make the art of writing accessible to all. Marni is also a therapist for artists and writers. She teaches writing workshops for UCSD Extension, conferences and retreats across the state and runs the Memoir Certificate Program at San Diego Writers Ink. Her latest book, Permission to Roar: For Female Thought Leaders Ready to Write is an Amazon Bestseller. Marni's profound experience with her teachers at USC who were blacklisted has shaped the direction of her life and career. She lives with her wonderfully talkative husband and son and their two cats who don't like each other. Within her community, she is often referred to as Glenda, the Good Witch of Writing.

David Ellenstein (Director) is the Artistic Director of the North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach CA since 2003, where he has produced 120 productions, directing more than 45 of them. Prior to that he served as the Artistic Director for the Arizona Jewish Theatre and the Los Angeles Repertory Company. Other directing credits include Paper Mill Playhouse, Coconut Grove Playhouse, 59e59, Laguna Playhouse, Los Angeles Repertory Company, Portland Stage, ACT (Seattle), Meadow Brook Theatre, Colony Theatre, Park Square Theatre (Minneapolis), Actors Theatre of Phoenix and the Alabama, Great Lakes, Nevada, California, Kingsmen and Southwest Shakespeare Festivals.

The Roustabouts Theater Co. (Producer) is a new San Diego theatre company dedicated to entertaining, educating, and inspiring audiences in Southern California by producing fresh visions of classics, well-known contemporary plays and new works, bringing together notable local actors, directors and playwrights. A company of writers (Ruff Yeager, Will Cooper and Phil Johnson), we celebrate the artist and the creative impulse by drawing from the rich, diverse talents of actors, directors, designers, and playwrights who live in our region. The best plays for our audiences, matched up with the best local artists. We believe the new works we produce will have an important impact, give our audiences something to take home into their own lives, and deserve a prominent place on the American stage. All three founders bring passion, excitement, and dedication to making great theatre and sharing with the young and old residents of So. Cal and beyond. In 2017, TRTC’s first year, the company was named Best New Theatre Company by San Diego Magazine.

www.ajewishjoke.com
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