Through February 26|
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE Maxine & Robert Seller Theatre/Jewish Repertory Theatre
For What (?) perhaps a thousand generations, human knowledge was passed down from the older to the younger because the older had learned things about life and the surrounding world.
Now, when toddlers can run computer equipment and show their elders how to use the device, that’s changed.
Mitch Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher’s “Tuesdays with Morrie” suggests the older path still has some life in it.
The wonderful production from the Jewish Repertory Theatre deserves some attention from the local theater audience.
Long ago, Mitch Albom had been a student at Brandeis, taking every sociology course Morrie Schwartz taught.
They promised to stay in touch and life interfered.
16 years later, Albom was big in in print, radio and TV and one night when looking at his screen, he saw his old professor on Night Line, talking about his impending death after a diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Albom immediately flew off to Boston to see his old mentor.
They began weekly conversations about life and love and death, as Morrie began the long slide to a scenic cemetery on a hill among trees, like “Our Town.”
There’s something about the conversations, as Morrie talks to his once-upon-a-time student, which have appealed to millions of people in book stores and in theater seats.
The show has been done here many times, most memorable to me when Manny Fried played Morrie, bringing his long career in radical politics, theater and life to the stage as the professor.
It’s a little bit of theater irony that Manny’s daughter Mindy was once a grad student to Morrie.
Here, it’s Jack Hunter’s Morrie and Adam Yellen’s Mitch.
Both are great.
They are working through the great issues, as Morrie calmly discusses death and Albom considers the complexities of his life, personal and professional, and his young marriage.
It’s also the older man passing along to the younger dealing with life.
Director Josie DiVincenzo does a strong job of keeping the action moving for a two-character, with Hunter mostly unable to move around the set, requiring Yellen to be the action stage.
This isn’t a long show, so the minds of the audience members aren’t overloaded with the issues Morrie and Mitch talk about.
But, they are deep issues and there might be extended talks after leaving the JRT.
You should go to see strong performances and deep thoughts and that clash of generations in “Tuesdays with Morrie.”
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