So I bit the bullet and actually attended a play. Granted, it wasn’t one of those Andrew Lloyd Webber, Broadway pieces of crap with singing and prancing and flying and shit. There were no elaborate costumes, dudes in Kabuki makeup or dudes in tights. There was a bit of dancing, but it was just some wacky eighty-year-old-guy-in-a-cardigan kind of thing. None of the lines were delivered in rhyming meter or bellowed at the audience in operatic Italian. Nope, the play was what a play is supposed to be: a couple guys on stage acting out a script written without a thought as to how they were gonna jam a five minute musical interlude in between battles of the French Armada or dancing Puerto Rican gangs.
I know Tuesdays With Morrie was originally a book, and then a television movie, but I managed to be one of six people on the planet Earth (including Freddy Prinze Jr., Britney Spears, Anna Kournikova, Hitler and that kid Corky from Life Goes On) who missed the whole Mitch Albom phenomenon. I always thought he was the little prick from The Sports Reporters, not some sensitive soul who gave up a couple months of his busy life to hang out with a dying professor. Now he’s a man who has made millions selling his story about being a sensitive soul to the masses. And here’s the proof (although he probably made sixty bucks and change on the off-Broadway play part of the deal):
The funny thing about the play is the casting choice they made for Mitch himself. The guy is a midget (sorry, little person) with a bad haircut and a serious Napoleon complex (or, as we called it in college, a broadcast journalist complex).
So, they get the six-foot-one Jon Tenney to play him. The guy could fit the real Mitch in one of his legs, and has probably had pimples more attractive. He managed to imitate the awful Boston accent pretty well, but there was no fooling us that he was not the loser in the social department Albom must have been (despite his claims in the play that he got laid in college–for the first time). Here he is with his wife, Teri Hatcher:
Anyway, I won’t pretend to know anything about the theater, but I did take quite a few English classes in both high school and college in which we read classic and experimental plays from throughout playdom. Amazingly none of these had singing and crap, but… It would be especially stupid of me to review this play given that it has now closed (we saw the second-to-last performance), but I’ll say that it has inspired me to try to get out and get some more culture in the near future. Yeah, it’s not the first play I’ve ever seen, but it’s the first I’ve seen in quite a while. Was it great? No. Did it make some interesting points about life, death and the fact it’s great to write autobiographical material in which you make yourself look like the world’s most selfless person? Sure it did.
Of course, it would make things a whole lot easier on all of us if the damn tickets weren’t $65 a piece. And this is off Broadway. It was sad that on a Saturday night this play couldn’t even fill the place. Time for a wake-up call: lower ticket prices and maybe somebody besides sheiks and Kennedys could afford to watch your stupid plays!
One more note: it’s really hard to keep your shite together when two guys tell each other they love each other (in a father/son kind of way) while sobbing and hugging and dying.