South Philly icon Gary Cohen gets his own original show at Theatre Horizon

-Courtesy of Bryan Buttler Media Relations, LLC

Theatre Horizon’s Art Houses program is proud to announce the second show of the innovative series, which partners professional theatre artists with families and households throughout the Greater Philadelphia region to create original performance works that will be presented on a monthly basis. Gary Cohen, a long time South Philadelphia resident and deli owner, will present his original show on January 30, 2021 at 7:30PM.  Part cooking show, part stand-up comedy, part fireside chat, this second installment of Art Houses asks, what do we hold most dear and what gets sent down the garbage disposal?

“Gary brims with stories from forty years in his house, where he raised a family and supported his thriving deli business next door,” notes Theatre Horizon Artistic Director Nell Bang-Jensen.  “We are thrilled to present his program as part of our Art Houses initiative, and to share Gary’s humorous and heartfelt story with our audiences.”

Gary Cohen was born in Kingston, Pennsylvania.  After completing high school, he and his wife moved to Philadelphia for work opportunities.  In 1986, he opened his popular take-out restaurant in South Philadelphia, which served the community until 2008, when Cohen decided to close the restaurant.  Since then, Cohen has become a commercial driver and went to work with SEPTA.  All the while, he has lived in the same house in South Philly for over forty years, which has amassed stories and memories as only Gary can share.

“There is a lot of coolness in my home,” says Cohen.  “Theatre Horizon and the Art Houses program are kind enough to give me a platform to let people know how much fun having a house in South Philly is.”

The Art Houses program, created by Bang-Jensen, allows professional theater artists to guide Philadelphia and Norristown area households in creating and performing an evening of original theater. The piece will be performed in the participant’s home and live streamed to Theatre Horizon audiences. Art Houses will be rehearsed and performed online, giving participants the opportunity to experience a professional theater process from the comfort and safety of their home. The content of the shows will vary depending on each household’s story, and may include scenes, songs, monologues, and poetry.

Gary Cohen’s Art Houses program will be directed by Johanna Kasimow in collaboration with Eva Steinmetz. Cohen will perform his original work live from his home on the Zoom platform for one performance only, January 30 at 7:30PM.  Zoom links to the live streamed performance will be provided after ticket purchase from Theatre Horizon’s website, The first 80 ticket holders will receive a “mystery box” in the mail before the performance with contents chosen by Gary and the creative team. These boxes will provide a tactile relationship to the show, and mimic the surprise of a live performance. “Mystery Boxes” will only be sent to patrons who purchase tickets by November 30.  For more information, visit

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