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A Jewish Joke to Make Off-Broadway Premiere With Roustabouts Theatre Co.

Phil Johnson performs the new solo drama set in 1950s Hollywood.

Phil Johnson cowrote and will star in the solo play A Jewish Joke, directed by David Ellenstein, at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row.
(© Holly Rone-Johnson)

The Roustabouts Theatre Co. will present the off-Broadway premiere of A Jewish Joke, written by Marni Freedman and Phil Johnson, performed by Johnson, and directed by David Ellenstein. Performances of A Jewish Joke will run March 7-31 at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row with an official opening set for March 13.

The production is described as follows: "In A Jewish Joke, Bernie Lutz is a curmudgeonly Jewish comedy screenwriter from MGM, who comes up against the communist blacklist in 1950s Hollywood. Now, he has to decide what's more important — his friends, or his livelihood? Armed with stories about the great era of Jewish humor, this poignant solo dramedy is about one American's fight against one of the darkest moments of the mid-20th century."

The creative team for A Jewish Joke includes Aaron Rumley (production design), Jordyn Smiley and Peter Herman (costume designer), and Matt Lescault-Wood (sound design). Michael Joseph Ormond is production stage manager with Rebecca Crigler serving as general manager.

A Jewish Joke began in San Diego and has toured regionally with engagements in Chicago; St. Louis; Louisville, Kentucky; and New Haven, Connecticut.