Saturday, July 11, 2015

Spotlight On...Philip Yosowitz

Name: Philip Yosowitz

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Education: B.A. UCLA, M.D. UCLA, General and Plastic Surgery Residency UCLA and Walter Reed Hospitals

Favorite Credits: The Gold is my first completed Musical Theatre work.

Why theater?: As a young boy, my family went to NYC several summers.  I distinctly remember seeing Most Happy Fella and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? with Jane Mansfield.  I was hooked. Music, and musical theater, provided the perfect counterbalance to football and baseball.

Tell us about The Gold: The main protagonist, Joseph Cohen, is a Jewish-German boxer who is intent upon winning the 1936 Berlin Olympics. His dreams are thwarted by the Nazi regime, and his fight for the gold becomes the battle for his family, identity, and country. Left with nothing, Joseph must reinvent himself in a new land. The Gold is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the journey of self-discovery that each of us takes as we search for purpose in our lives.

What inspired you to write The Gold?: Two core parts of my childhood intersected to serve as the springboard for The Gold.  As a young boy, I was exposed to the events of the Holocaust as my father sponsored surviving family members to come to the US and live with us until they got on their feet. My father himself had been fortunate to have left Czechoslovakia and made his way to the US in the 1930's.  Another major part of my childhood was participating in sports.  Years later, as I was playing the piano, the Atlanta Olympics were on the TV in the background. The Gold began to emerge.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Epic, musical theater speaks to me.  But I will say that my favorite singer is Karen Carpenter.  I guess that dates me.  Her voice was perfect and pure.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I've been incredibly fortunate to have worked with my daughter on The Gold.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Beautiful was poignant; I loved the music and the character.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Denzel Washington in "On the Lam".

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: The first performance of Porgy and Bess.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Working in the garden.  Though in Houston, it is HOT... And not such a "guilty" pleasure.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: A baseball player.  I still dream of playing for the Cleveland Indians.

What’s up next?: I've written the music for a show based on Joan of Arc and am now working on the lyrics. I do love epic musicals!

For more on The Gold, visit