A play based on Mitch Albom’s best-selling memoir, TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, is now performing at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, through March 31.
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE tells of Mitch’s relationship with his college sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz. After his graduation, Mitch promises to keep in touch with his professor-friend, but doesn’t keep the promise. It isn’t until years later, when Mitch sees Morrie on TV’s Nightline, discussing his battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, that they reconnect. From then on, Mitch travels to see Morrie every Tuesday, enjoying conversations that are actually life lessons.
At the Sierra Madre Playhouse, Mitch is played by Jackson Kendall, and Larry Eisenberg is Morrie. They are directed by L. Flint Esquerra. The actors deliver an emotional story that hardly keeps a dry eye in the house. It’s, however, sprinkled with humor and witty lines that are well delivered and welcomed. As Lou Gehrig’s Disease progresses, a person has difficulty walking, becomes clumsy, has trouble swallowing, and experiences cramps and twitching in the arms and shoulders. In the course of the play, Eisenberg mesmerizingly transforms his body to show all of those symptoms.
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE is quite moving. Mitch and Morrie’s visits continue until “the end,” so you don’t see this play to find out what happens. But you see it for the ideas that it sends you home mulling over. The idea, for example, that attitude determines how one enjoys life, and how one deals with mortality. Or, the thought that a person remains “alive” for as long as her or his words guide someone else’s life. And for the realization that there are many types of love, and that we are part of many love stories.
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE performs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2:30 pm, through March 31. Tickets range $20 to $40, available at sierramadreplayhouse.org and by calling (626) 355-4318.
There’ll be a Pay What You Can performance on Monday, March 18, at 8 pm.
The Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre CA 91024. There’s free parking behind the theater.