The Other Josh Cohen Review: Mario Kart Meets Neil Diamond
Josh Cohen is no different.
“The Other Josh Cohen” tells the story of an “unlucky optimist” that finds himself broke and sans companion as the Hallmark holiday approaches. Cohen hasn’t had much good fortune in his young life and to top it off, comes home to find his New York bachelor pad burglarized and bare-walled. It is stripped of everything, including the Bundt cake left in the refrigerator. The robber, however, had the decency to leave behind a Neil Diamond III CD.
David Rossmer, the present day Josh Cohen, narrates the story of his life one year earlier. A year before Cohen, played by Steve Rosen, was moustached and a bit stockier. A few days after Valentine’s Day, a check for $56,000 is mailed to his home. Luckily, Cohen’s lesbian neighbors (Hannah Elless and Kate Wetherhead) give him a Darth Vader speakerphone that enables him to phone the woman who sent the check.
He soon realizes the check was for a different guy of the same namesake. The other Josh Cohen.
The moral dilemma soon entails as Cohen debates with his Jewish guilt whether to cash the check or send it back to the man it was intended for.
All it took was a song on a game of Mario Kart to get the creative juices flowing.
Rossmer and Rosen felt that a song on the game sounded like a Neil Diamond song. They started playing around on a guitar left in Rosen’s sub-let apartment and seven hours later had several Diamond-inspired songs composed. With the script and lyrics soon to come and Tony Award winner Ted Sperling on board to direct, the musical was born.
Both actors in the show are very funny and enjoyable to watch. As the two bounce and waltz around the stage, it is obvious how much fun they had bringing this story to life. As Rossmer narrates, fantasy musical numbers happen shortly after. With several allusions to Star Wars and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, many of the fantasy scenes produce the most laughs.
The supporting cast is hilarious and compliments both Josh Cohen’s greatly. With the use of different wigs and clothing, the supporting cast is transformed from musicians to stereotypical overbearing but loving Jewish parents, neighbors and the past love interests who got away.
The six actors in the musical are fantastic musicians and singers. The show produces many beautiful and subtle harmonies in the songs.
“The Other Josh Cohen” is a fun-loving musical with a clear plot that is easy to stay with but remains witty and smart to the very last note.
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