Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh to appear in concert

reading of The Soap Myth at the Sarasota Opera

Play focused on a Holocaust survivor examines the differing and provocative
perspectives between survivors, scholars and deniers

March 26, 2019

Lana Mullen, Communications Coordinator
(941) 328-1322
[email protected]


Sarasota, FL— The Sarasota Opera House, in conjunction with the Florida Holocaust Museum and the Tampa Jewish Community Centers & Federation, will present a reading of The Soap Myth, starring Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh on Tuesday, April 16th at 7:00pm. Originally presented off-Broadway in 2012, The Soap Myth, written by Jeff Cohen and directed by Pam Berlin, is set more than 50 years after the end of World War II, and dramatizes the warm friendship that develops between a young Jewish journalist and a cantankerous Holocaust Survivor 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 Soap Myth asks provocative questions like “Who has the right to write history?” and “How does a survivor survive surviving?”

Audience members and critics are moved: William Shulman, president of the Association of Holocaust Organizations says The Soap Myth is a powerful confrontation between survivor memory and historical memory as well as a scathing depiction of the insidiousness of sophisticated Holocaust denial. It is a remarkably effective teaching tool.”  The Jewish Standard declares “It is an intense evening - in 85 minutes, The Soap Myth manages to deal with complicated concepts — the definition of history and truth; degrees of human depravity and duplicity; and insidious Holocaust denial. At the same time, it captures the humanity of its characters, and delivers perfect archetypes.”  

Seven-time Emmy Award and five-time Golden Globe Award winner Ed Asner is known for his roles as Lou Grant in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” 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. Six-time Tony and Emmy nominee Tovah Feldshuh has been a Broadway star for more than four decades, in addition to her work as a singer and playwright. Most recently she has starred in “The Walking Dead,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” and CBS’ “Salvation.”

One day before the Sarasota performance—on Monday April 15, 2019—The Soap Myth will be performed at the Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center in Tampa. 

Individual tickets for the reading of The Soap Myth start at only $25 and are available online at SarasotaOpera.org, in person at the Sarasota Opera Box Office at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236, or by calling (941) 328-1300.

About Sarasota Opera

Sarasota Opera is celebrating its 60th Season of bringing world-class opera to Florida’s Gulf Coast. The company was launched in 1960, when a touring chamber opera company came to the historic 320-seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota’s Ringling Museum of Art. The following year the Asolo Opera Guild was formed to present the season. By 1974 the Asolo Opera was mounting its own productions at the theater. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to full-scale opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater which in 1984 (as the Sarasota Opera House) became home to the newly renamed Sarasota Opera. The building underwent a $20 million renovation and rehabilitation in 2007 enhancing audience amenities, while updating the technical facilities, including increasing the size of the orchestra pit. The theater, which reopened in March 2008, has been called “one of America’s finest venues for opera” by Musical America.

Since 1983, the company has been under the artistic leadership of Victor DeRenzi and administrative leadership of Executive Director Richard Russell since 2012. Sarasota Opera has garnered international attention with its Masterwork Revivals Series, which presents neglected works of artistic merit, as well as the Verdi Cycle, completed in 2016, that made Sarasota Opera the only opera company in the world to present all of Verdi’s works. Recognizing the importance of training, Maestro DeRenzi founded the Apprentice and Studio Artists programs. Sarasota Opera also maintains a commitment to education through its Explorations in Opera performances for local schools and the industry-leading Sarasota Youth Opera program.

Sarasota Opera is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Programs are supported in part by an award from the Tourist Development Tax through the Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the Sarasota County Arts Council. Additional funding is provided by the City of Sarasota and the County of Sarasota.


Sarasota Opera • 61 N. Pineapple Avenue • Sarasota, FL 34236 • (941) 366-8450 www.sarasotaopera.org #End