There are already two Josh Cohens when the musical comedy begins – David Rossmer and Steve Rosen (creators – book/music/lyrics) – one present day, one a year prior in this dual storytelling. As Rossmer rushes up the aisle through the audience onto the stage in flannel shirt, the absurd, silly tale begins. It’s actually based on a true story – hard to believe!
What do you do when your apartment is robbed and the only thing left is a Neil Diamond III CD? Well, I guess you create a pop-rock show in the style of Diamond. When the storyline revolves around anything that can go wrong does, is it because Josh Cohen(s) has a streak of bad luck or is it because he missed a beat somewhere?
And so there are clever, witty songs that reflect his bad luck when on February 14th (Valentine’s Day) the poor guy can’t get a girl even though he tries when he meets one in a candy department and instead winds up singing that “Neil Life is Better than Real Life.” One of the problems is that Josh is just too nice a guy. When he gets a letter from Irma Cohen that contains a $56,000 check made out to him, the assumption is that it’s from a dead relative. Being the nice Jewish schnook he is, he finds Irma’s phone number and calls to thank her on the Darth Vader phone, a recent present from his Lesbian neighbors post robbery, hoping she won’t answer. Alas, she does and what unfolds is the sad and happy tale of how “the other Josh Cohen” enters the picture and unwittingly creates a happy ending.
There’s an entire bunch of other people, like the drummer Hannah Elless, Music Director/Keyboards Vadim Feichtner, and the rest of the people, bassist Ken Triwush, and Kate Wetherhead who plays a lot of people. Throughout the 80 minutes there’s witty repartee, dialogue and music-wise, as the original Josh Cohen shows himself as a good Samaritan and eventually receives the reward he deservedly seeks.
There’s a lot of talent in this small band of merry-makers, as they each use wigs, props and a variety of accessories; Kate Wetherhead on keyboard does a spectacular job as a “lot of people.” And somewhere there’s also a message to boot.
You’ll enjoy the comic ride directed by Ted Sperling with choreography by Andrew Palermo, especially if you happen to be thirty something. This is an Amas Musical Theatre production in association with Scandobean Productions.
*Photo Carol Rosegg