Through May 22|
THE OTHER JOSH COHEN Daemen College/MusicalFare Theatre
Probably everyone knows someone who has a name common enough that there is someone else with the same name or even nickname that there is occasional confusion.
That’s the core of “The Other Josh Cohen,” a musical about a young man starting out in Manhattan who discovers there is another Josh Cohen, literally just up the street, with an almost identical street address and with a rich relative.
Director Randall Kramer is using the pattern of many past MusicalFare productions with the cast both the characters and the musicians.
Creators David Rossmer and Steve Rosen uses an old theatre trope, older Josh and younger Josh.
Older Josh (Zak Ward) tells the story of what he lived through and what younger Josh (Joseph Donohue III) is living through (again), in the run-up to Valentine’s Day for which he doesn’t have a date.
In many ways, it’s the usual pattern of struggling through recent college grad starvation at lousy Manhattan pay, high rent and temp jobs.
What triggers the story is a burglary in his Lower East Side ground floor apartment, with the thief taking everything down to a fax machine (fax? Really.).
Josh is depressed because everything else is going badly and all he has left is a Neil Diamond (Theresa Quinn) CD, “One CD.”
Then he gets a letter with a check for $56,000 addressed to “Josh Cohen,” at a similar address.
He wants to cash it.
He even puts in a call to his parents, back home, to see if he can keep the proceeds.
The search for justification and a better life includes wonderful production numbers like “Samuel Cohen’s Family Tree.”
In the end, he finds the other, rich Josh, just up the street with an almost identical address.
He also finds another Cohen, Diane.
That’s the other Josh’s recently divorced daughter.
That’s part of him realizing things can get better, realizing his own mistake led to the burglary and he has a date for Valentine’s Day.
“Josh Cohen” is an entertaining and well-done one-act show, with a strong group of actor/singers, Brandon Barry, Solange Gosselin, Robert Insana and Quinn.
That one act means Kramer can keep the show moving swiftly, without any need to recover after the intermission.
The combination of the show itself, a strong cast and Chris Cavanagh’s fine set means “The Other Josh Cohen” is really worth seeing.
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