Beginning Monday, April 15, 2019 and continuing through Tuesday, May 7, seven-time Emmy Award and five-time Golden Globe Award winner Ed Asner will star as Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman in a national tour of concert readings of Jeff Cohen‘s play The Soap Myth. The readings are directed by Pam Berlin.
Dee Pelletier, who originated the dual roles of Holocaust scholar Esther Feinman and Holocaust denier Brenda Goodsen in the acclaimed 2012 production at the Roundabout Black Box, returns toThe Soap Myth beginning Monday, April 29 in Milwaukee, WI. Ms. Pelletier, whose “frightening portrayal of Brenda Goodsen was a revelation” (The New York Times), continues with the production through the conclusion of the tour, with stops in Carmel, IN; St. Louis, MO; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; and Pittsburgh, PA. The cast of The Soap Myth also includes Drama Desk Award winner Ned Eisenbergas Holocaust scholar David Silver and others, and Liba Vaynbergas journalist Annie Blumberg.
The performances are part of Remembrance Readings – a tribute to Yom HaShoah, observed on May 1, 2019.
The play dramatizes the friendship that develops between a young Jewish journalist, Annie Blumberg, and a cantankerous Holocaust survivor, Milton Saltzman, on a crusade about including “soap” in Holocaust museums – Did the Nazis make soap from the corpses of murdered Jews?Along the way, the play grapples with the pernicious evil of antisemitism masquerading as Holocaust denial. The play tackles such timely and provocative themes as how a survivor survives surviving, who has the right to write history and how we determine the truth.
Mr. Cohen, commenting on recent tragic events in the Jewish community and the frightening rise of antisemitism, observes: “Holocaust education is more important than ever. I feel a renewed urgency to fight the tide of hatred using the weapons I possess – words and ideas.”
Mr. Asner is beloved for such legendary roles as Lou Grant in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Lou Grant,” Santa Claus in the Will Farrell-comedy Elf, and Carl Fredrickson in the smash animated feature Up. This marks the third year that he will perform the role of Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman in The Soap Myth.
The schedule of performances featuring original cast member Dee Pelletier is as follows:
Monday, April 29th – Congregation Shalom, 7630 Santa Monica Blvd., Milwaukee, WI 53217
Tuesday, April 30th – The Palladium at The Center for the Performing Arts, One Center Green, Carmel, IN 46032
Thursday/Friday, May 2nd & 3rd – Congregation Temple Israel, 21 Rabbi Alvan D. Rubin Dr., St. Louis, MO 63141
Saturday, May 4th – The Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center, Case Western University, 1855 Ansel Rd., Cleveland, OH 44106
Sunday, May 5th – Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus, 1125 College Ave. Columbus, OH 43209
Monday & Tuesday, May 6th & 7th – Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, 826 Hazelwood Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15217
The Soap Myth was originally produced Off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theater in 2012 by the National Jewish Theater Foundation. A film of that production was broadcast nationally on PBS and is in the permanent collection of Britain’s Digital Theatre. For a preview of Mr. Asner’s performance, watch the trailer on Vimeo.