The Off-Broadway run of A Jewish Joke has closed due to the show's star and co-writer, Phil Johnson, requiring emergency surgery. Johnson is now in recovery, and according to producers (The Roustabousts Theatre Co), “doing well.”
Following an award-winning turn at the United Solo Festival in 2017, as well as engagements in San Diego, Chicago, and New Haven, among other stops, Johnson and Marni Freedman's monologue play opened at Theatre Row Off-Broadway March 13.
Directed by David Ellenstein, A Jewish Joke introduces us to Bernie Lutz, a curmudgeonly Jewish comedy screenwriter from MGM who comes up against the Communist blacklist in 1950’s Hollywood. He is forced to decide what's more important—his friends or his livelihood?
“There are a lot of Yiddish expressions in A Jewish Joke,” says Sher Krieger of The Roustabousts Theatre Co. “Here's one that we hadn't planned on using: Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht - Man Plans, and God Laughs. We're all laughing again now as Phil recovers from emergency surgery. Thankfully he's doing very well, however we have had to cancel our last few performances of A Jewish Joke. We look forward to coming back to New York with another wonderful production.”
The creative team for A Jewish Joke Off-Broadway is made up of Aaron Rumley (production design), Jordyn Smiley and Peter Herman (costume design), and Matt Lescault-Wood (sound design). Michael Joseph Ormond is production stage manager, and Rebecca Crigler is general manager.
Flip through photos of the production below: