OUT OF THE BOX THEATRICS
IN ASSOCIATION WITH BURKE-COHEN ENTERTAINMENT
PRESENT DEVELOPMENTAL READINGS OF
JEFF COHEN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL COMEDY
S Q U E A K Y
FEATURING TOVAH FELDSHUH, MARC KUDISCH,
LOU LIBERATORE, BENJA KAY THOMAS AND HARRIS YULIN
PERFORMANCES NOVEMBER 14-17 AT
154 CHRISTOPHER STREET
(FORMERLY THE NEW OHIO THEATER)
(October 25, 2023 - New York, NY) – As part of its new Building the Box Developmental Reading Series, Out of the Box Theatrics (Liz Flemming, Founding Artistic Director), in association with Burke-Cohen Entertainment, will present readings of SQUEAKY, a poignant autobiographical comedy by Drama Desk Award winner Jeff Cohen. Performances staged “script-in-hand” will take place November 14-17 at 154 Christopher Street.
Out of the Box Theatrics (OOTB) was recently selected to operate 154, the venue formerly known as The New Ohio Theatre. SQUEAKY is the first of OOTB’s Building the Box Developmental Reading Series, a program dedicated to developing new works. Admission is free, but a $20 donation is suggested. For information, please visit Ovation Tix.
The cast for SQUEAKY will include Lortel and Obie Award winner Harris Yulin (Clear and Present Danger, Training Day) as Stan “Squeaky” Cohen, three-time Tony nominee Marc Kudisch (Girl from the North Country, 9 to 5 The Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Jeff, four-time Tony Award nominee Tovah Feldshuh (Funny Girl, Golda’s Balcony, Irena’s Vow) as Sandy, Tony Award nominee Lou Liberatore (Burn This, As Is) as Rob, and two-time Obie Award winner Benja Kay Thomas (Fat Ham, Booty Candy) as Constance “Connie” Pryor.
SQUEAKY is a personal journey dramatizing end-of-life issues with the playwright’s eccentric dad Stan “Squeaky” Cohen – the man who was banned from every Old Country Buffet in Greater Baltimore. According to playwright Cohen: “In telling my family’s story, I’m hoping audiences will find parallels to their own families – not just the sad or contentious moments, but the laugh-out-loud funny ones as well.”
Performances are Tuesday, November 14 at 5:00 pm, Wednesday, November 15 at 5:00 pm, Thursday, November 16 at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, and Friday, November 17 at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
Jeff Cohen (Playwright) was awarded a special 2002 Drama Desk Award for “The Tribeca Playhouse Stage Door Canteen,” a 10-week USO-style series to “entertain the troops” – the rescue and recovery workers at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The dozens of Broadway performers included Kristen Chenoweth, Sandy Duncan, Colin Quinn, Mario Cantone, Kate Shindle, Joey Fatone, Phylicia Rashad, Sara Ramirez and many others. Mr. Cohen’s plays include his acclaimed Holocaust drama The Soap Myth,performed by such stars as Ed Asner, Jayne Atkinson, Johanna Day, Richard Dreyfuss, Tovah Feldshuh, Bob Gunton, John Rubinstein and Harris Yulin –
which PBS filmed for broadcast on WNET’s AllArts channel starring Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh. Other plays include The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller (Critic’s Pick, The New York Times and Time Out New York), Whoa-Jack! featuring Michael Ealy (New York stage debut), and Men of Clay (Best New Play of 2005, The City Paper). Acclaimed adaptations include The Seagull, set in the Hamptons and featuring Laura Linney (New York stage debut), Tammy Grimes, Marin Hinkle, Neil Huff and D.B. Sweeney (Ten Best productions of 1998, The Boston Globe) and Orestes: I Murdered My Mother, featuring Kathryn Hahn (New York stage debut). Productions directed include the New York premiere of Christopher Shinn’s Four (Lortel Award, New York Times Critic’s Pick), Marlene Meyer’s The Mystery of Attraction (Obie Award) and the world premiere of Tristine Skyler’s The Moonlight Room (New York Times Critic’s Pick, selected Ten Best productions of 2003, Outer Critics Circle Award nomination). Mr. Cohen was the founder and Artistic Director of the RAPP Arts Center – now the Connelly Theater – the Worth Street Theater Company, the Tribeca Playhouse, and the Dog Run Repertory Theater Company.
Tovah Feldshuh (Sandy) recently starred in the Broadway production of Funny Girl as Rosie Brice, opposite Lea Michele. She has been nominated for the Tony Award four times (Yentl, Sarava, Lend Me a Tenor, Golda’s Balcony), won the Drama Desk Award three times (Yentl, Lend Me a Tenor, Golda’s Balcony), and won the Outer Critics Circle Award four times, as well as the Lucille Lortel Award twice, Helen Hayes, and Obie Awards. She was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards – for the role of Danielle Melnick in the series “Law & Order” and the role of Helena Slomova in the series “Holocaust.” In 2021, she published her memoir, Lilyville: Mother, Daughter And Other Roles I've Played, which ranked #1 in Parent-Child Relationships on Amazon. Television viewers know her as Naomi Bunch in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Deanna Monroe in “The Walking Dead,” and numerous other roles. She is the founder of The Feldshuh Fund for Women’s Health for early detection of all reproductive cancers (entertainmentcommunity.org/tovah). She starred in the national tour of Jeff Cohen’s The Soap Myth, opposite Ed Asner, and PBS captured their performances on film for broadcast on WNET. Follow her adventures on Instagram @tovahfeld or tovahfeldshuh.com.
Marc Kudisch (Jeff) is a three-time Tony Award nominee (9 to 5 The Musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Thoroughly Modern Millie), and has starred in over a dozen Broadway shows including Girl From the North Country, The Great Society, The Apple Tree, Finding Neverland, Hand To God, Assassins and The Wild Party. Marc’s TV credits include Dr. Gus on “Billions,” Ty Rathbone on “The Tick” and Henry Mitchell on “House of Cards.”
Lou Liberatore (Rob). Among his numerous credits, Lou received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Award nominations for Burn This opposite John Malkovich and Joan Allen.
Benja Kay Thomas (Constance “Connie” Pryor) won Obie Awards for Robert O’Hara’s Booty Candy and the Off-Broadway production of James Ijames’ Fat Ham, for which she reprised her role in the Broadway production. Additional Broadway credits include Skeleton Crew. Additional Off-Broadway credits: Barbecue, Halfway Bitches Go Straight To Heaven. Film/TV: A Love Song, FBI, Gotham, “Detective Chinatown 2,” the revenge thriller “A Gun For Jennifer.” She is a proud Member of AEA/SAG, The Actors Center, and the LAByrinth Theater Company.
Harris Yulin (Stan “Squeaky”Cohen) is one of the world's most sought after and recognizable character actors – seen most recently as Buddy Dieker in “Ozark” (SAG nomination). He has starred in blockbuster films like Clear and Present Danger, Ghostbusters 2, and Training Day, classic TV movies like “The Missiles of October” and “Victory at Entebbe,” such series as “24,” “How the West Was Won,” “Billions,” “Kojak,” “Frasier” (Emmy Award nomination), and “Murphy Brown.” Broadway credits include The Price, The Diary of Anne Frank (Drama Desk nominations), Hedda Gabler and The Visit.
Out of the Box Theatrics was founded in 2016 by Liz Flemming, a legally blind artist, to create space for artists who have been historically underrepresented and undervalued. The company stages innovative and site-specific productions of new and classic plays and musicals while challenging audiences to experience these works outside of their expectations. By casting without regard to gender, race, creed, ethnicity, or disability, OOTB seeks to create a more inclusive and equitable theatre industry. OOTB has earned recent attention for its critically acclaimed streaming co-production of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last 5 Years (New York Times’ Critic’s Pick, 2021 Drama League Nominee for Outstanding Digital Theater, 2022 Antonyo Award winner for Best Digital Theater Production), and its new production of the 1983 Broadway musical Baby (2022 Drama Desk Award nominee, Outstanding Revival of a Musical).
Burke-Cohen Entertainment has been at the forefront in developing and producing vital and often challenging artistic work. Its production of Jeff Cohen’s The Soap Myth was a critical hit last summer in Southampton directed by Harris Yulin and starring Bob Gunton, John Rubinstein, Carolyn McCormick and Maddie Rubin. The Soap Myth toured the United States as a “concert reading” starring legendary actors Ed Asner and Richard Dreyfuss and co-stars that included award winning actors Tovah Feldshuh, Johanna Day, Ned Eisenberg, Jayne Atkinson, Donald Corren, Liba Vaynberg and Blair Baker. Filmed by PBS in April, 2019, The Soap Myth is considered one of the most important plays about the Holocaust.
OOTB’s programming of 154 has been made possible by an arrangement with ChaShaMa. Since 1995, ChaShaMa has partnered with property owners to transform unused real estate for 30,000 artists and over 150 small businesses, hosted 4,000 public art events, provided 1,500 classes in under-served communities, and reached audiences of nearly a million.