Prince Edward Community Theatre’s first production of the season opens Friday with a touching story beautifully told by the grandson and grandfather team of Michael Zaffino and David Smith.
“Tuesdays with Morrie” is an autobiographical story about Mitch Albom an accomplished journalist driven by his career, and his former college professor Morrie Schwartz who has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Sixteen years after graduation, Mitch catches a television appearance by Morrie and learns of his condition. What starts as a simple visit turns into a weekly pilgrimage and a last class in the meaning of life.
“Everyone has, at some point in their life, had to face a challenge and try to overcome feelings of loss or helplessness. It’s what we do to make the most of the time we have, that are the most meaningful and rewarding moments in our lives,” says Georgia Papanicolaou, the production’s producer. “I think that’s what people will connect with the most after they see this play, and one of the reasons why I’m so happy to be producing it.”
Having taught the novel for several years in secondary school, Zaffino is familiar both professionally and personally with the character of Mitch Albom.
“I think we all can relate to Mitch. We have all been guilty at some point in our lives of putting our profession over family, love and true human connection. It’s novels like “Tuesdays with Morrie” that helps remind us, a life without love is truly an unfulfilled life,” Zaffino said.
When Zaffino approached director Lynn Fennell about this play having a grandfather/ grandson duo, it was just a dream.
“It is ultimately my grandfather that sparked my interest in acting as a kid. I remember laughing at the thought that he would shave his head to play Daddy Warbux in a production of Annie. I was so glad that Lynn ultimately decided to do this play and allow my (almost) 80-year-old grandfather to perform it with me. It’s funny how life comes full circle.”
“It’s wonderful to watch them working together. There is a closeness there that translates beautifully to the characters they are portraying,” says Papanicolaou. “To be able to watch them develop with every rehearsal is such a treat. This is going to be a very special experience, and a show not to be missed.”
Tuesdays with Morrie” plays on Nov. 16, 17, 23, 24, at 8pm
Tickets $14 in advance; $16 at the door; (group sales $10 for eight or more) available at Kelly’s Store and The Picton Gazette, The Sidestreet Gallery, countytix.ca (surcharge applies) or can be reserved by calling 613-476-5925.
Season’s tickets are available until Nov. 24 by phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org and cost $36 per person for all three season shows. Visit pecommtheatre.ca
Also note: November 18 and 25 – One Act Sundays! Prince Edward Community Theatre will host a series of One Act matinee shows over the coming season at a special rate of $10 per show. Tickets can be purchased at the door one hour before showtime.
The first show, on Nov. 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. at Mt. Tabor is “2 Across” directed by Angela Stever and featuring Cheryl Singer and Lynn Fennell.
A romantic comedy about two people who couldn’t be less alike but who discover a common longing during an 80 minute commuter train ride, played in real time without intermission. Mayer uses the crossword puzzle conceit to draw these two people into an exchange of confidences about their lives & the direction they seek to follow. Opposites can attract, the play suggests, and despite their difference, these former strangers come together in a shared hope of friendship, perhaps even love.
Visit the PECT website pecommtheatre.ca for show details
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