Neo-Shtick Theater
Neo-Shtick Theater
Meet the Team for
Murder at the Food Coop

Eric Oleson, director: Educated at the Sorbonne and the Yale School of Drama, Eric Oleson is obviously not the person being described here. But aren't the preening, pretentious losers at both those institutions going to be jealous when they see that Eric is no longer just a waiter at Le Pain Quotidien anymore, but a waiter at Le Pain Quotidien with a hit show downtown that he's not getting paid for! If that isn't success, we don't know what is.
Gersh Kuntzman, producer, writer, starlet: Gersh Kuntzman is a tabloid hack, first and formost. Since 1993, Gersh was at The New York Post, first as a reporter and, later, as a columnist. A series of columns he wrote on the annual hot-dog-eating championship at Coney Island inspired the award-winning film "Red, White and Yellow." Variety magazine called Gersh's performance in the film "outstanding" and "a breath of fresh air, albeit tinged with garlic and secret spices, blowing through all of Hollywood." In 2001, Gersh started writing a weekly column for Gersh is also the author of "HAIR! Mankind's Historic Quest to End Baldness" (Random House, April 2001), that classic social history of male pattern baldness. Later, Gersh turned his creative talents to theater, has focused on composing, a career choice his ex-wife dismissed as "a lame excuse for not making more than $12,000 a year." "SUV: The Musical!" was credited with pressuring the Bush administration to reconsider its plan to drill the entire nation for oil. Gersh now works as a columnist for the NY Daily News

Marc Dinkin, music, lyrics: Marc has been a songwriter and performer for over 15 years. Trading in his squeaky violin for a squeaky guitar in high school, he began composing such youthful gems as "Don't Fall Asleep this Time, Jill," but soon was asking more serious questions like "You changed my life, but could you leave my room alone?"  The bulk of his rock songwriting has been performed with the band, Youngster, long time pop-rock entertainers of NYC and past-winner of Swing Magazine's Best Unsigned Band of the year.  He also wrote and directed the award-winning musical, "The Prophet and the Janitor."  He has recently written a collection of children songs for The Learning Company's Reader Rabbit CD-ROM series, including the touching anthem, "I Believe in B."   His songs have also been featured in Mainely A Capella's "Best of College A Cappella" CD compilation, Music Pen's online and CD-ROM games and Ragu's site,  He currently lives in NYC with his wonderful (although not Vegan) wife Julie, who wrote his favorite line in "Bigger is Better."

Erin Evers* (Amaranth Cleopatra Windchime): When not pulling double shifts at the Coop, you might catch Erin performing throughout the city. While she's new to using her kitchen for more than deep storage, she is happy to have spent the last several weeks in a supermarket (sorry I mean Food Coop!) Who knew food shopping could be so fun? A big shout out to the whole cast and team that have been a blast to work with. Thanks to my folks and to Dylan, my reluctant sous chef.

Alaina Fragoso (Muffy Golda Meir Finkelberg): Alaina learned of her love for acting early when playing with her Barbies and mimicking scenes from “Beverly Hills, 90210.” She later realized it's more fun to act with people her age and joined her first musical as a sophomore in high school and has been going strong ever since! She's been featured in social media ads for major beer brands, staged readings for Broadway composers, and performances at 54 Below. Coming up: “A Hot Mess” (webseries) and “Webtales” (Verizon Go90). Alaina is a graduate of Emerson College. Visit her at

Johari Menelik Frasier (Schmuel Guevara): Johari is a graduate of the Two-Year Professional Musical Theatre Workshop at Circle in the Square Theatre School and holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Humanities from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is thrilled to work with this talented cast and team. Recently he played Old Man Strong in Fracture Theatre Company's off-Broadway production of “Urinetown,” and he will be joining Utopia Opera's production of Stephen Sondheim's “Assassins” in September. He is also a composer and is currently working on a musical. To see some of his work, please visit He is very thankful for all the support he's received from his friends, parents, and Sarah.

Doug Chitel* (Det. Dick Johnson): A native North Jerseyan, Doug grew up a bit challenged when it came to "getting" jokes with any subtext. Fortunately, he has unclogged and honed this inner block in time for “Murder at the Food Coop” (though, truth be told, it took him a week to get that his character's name was a dick joke. When not in musical farces about liberal food coops, he can be seen around town in select cabarets and theatrical projects. He has thoroughly enjoyed working with the terrific people involved in this production and looks forward to a very veggie-packed run rife with song, cynicism, and subtext.

Brittany Shaffer (Jackie Sojourner Truth Smythe): Brittany is thrilled to be a part of her first Fringe Festival show. Past credits include “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live!” (national tour), “Godspell” (LTR), “The Marvelous Wonderettes” (LTR), “Swing! The Musical” (LTR), and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (Brighton Armory Theatre). She would like to thank the incredible creative team — along with God, Richie Colombo, and her ever-supporting friends and family — for this wonderful opportunity.

Michael Gellert* (Ali al-Muhammad): Michael is a native New Yorker and is happy to make his Fringe Festival debut. A graduate of A.M.D.A., Michael has been a musical theater actor since the age of 13. Michael would like to thank God and his family for all their blessings. Especially: Mimi, Papa, Anne & Barry, Marisa and Jason, Lenny, and his beloved Em.

Alex Covington* (Doris Chiang Kai Shenkman): Alex is a kind and generous person, not at all like her character in the play (well, there are SOME similiarities...but it’s’s like..... an exaggerated version...or...something). ANYWAY, as a Brooklyn transplant from L.A., she is passionate about her work as an actress in musicals, voice over, commercials and any kind of screen (small, large, tiny, even an Apple watch). She studied comedy at The Annoyance Theater in Brooklyn and is excited to continue to explore the art form further. To stay up to date on her whereabouts (but don't be a creep), visit

Max King (Jerry): Max is a life-long co-op member in his home state of NH, so one of his greatest fears is starring in a genetically modified stage play produced by Monsanto. Recent Credits: Gideon in "7 Brides For 7 Brothers" (Nat’l Tour), Tommy in "Carrie" (Westchester Sandbox), "Vestments of the Gods" (Fringe 2014). This one is dedicated to Dad and Hannah, both co-op employees, and many thanks to Mom and Remy. 

Brian A. Mason (Johnny Endive): When Brian's not destroying the earth with t-bone steaks, he can be found playing Kyle O'Brien in the feature film "Home By Now" at the Miami Independent Film Festival and the IndiePossible Film Festival, playing Ben in the upcoming feature film "Larchmont," and playing The Man At The Piano in "Strange Weather" at Dixon Place and the Robert Moss Theatre. He would like to thank the cast, crew and creative team for letting him be a part of this madcap production.  

* These actors are appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.