Arts Club Theatre

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher

Dates and Venue 1– 31 May 2008 @ 8pm | Granville Island

Director Bill Millerd SetsTed Roberts CostumesRebekka Sorensen LightingMarsha Sibthorpe

Reviewer Susan Peake

The first day of May was a winner for those who attended the opening night of Tuesdays with Morrie at the Granville Island Stage. What I feared could be a ‘downer’ evening - attending a play about a dying man - was, in fact, a delightfully entertaining treat.

Tuesdays With Morrie is, essentially, a memoir written by Mitch Albom who wrote the book based on his real life relationship with one of his professors when he was attending university. The book was a huge success and was later adapted for both a TV movie and, later, live theatre. Contrary to this popularity, I had read the book and was less than moved by the predictable story. Perhaps, for me, the characters did not come alive until transformed on the stage.

Antony Holland plays the role of Morrie and he is nothing short of sensational. His timing is incredibly precise and as a result the clever script is made richer with a spectrum of emotion - humour, love, remorse, sorrow – and even when he is merely listening to his young friend, Mitch, played by Warren Kimmel, Holland manages to captivate the audience with his charismatic sparkle. Holland, at 88 years of age, shows no signs of losing his exceptional talent. He is an inspiration.

Kimmel, as Mitch, plays the perfect recipient of Holland’s cleverly understated words of wisdom. We learn that the two developed their professor / student relationship 16 years earlier and, when school was over and Mitch was ready to go off and discover the world, he promised faithfully to stay in touch.

However, he did not – and then, years later, the two come together again after Mitch learns that Morrie is dying of Lou Gahrig’s disease. Mitch, now a successful sports journalist, finds himself visiting Morrie on a weekly basis, compelled to continue his visits as his old friend’s health deteriorates.

Of course, the ending is inevitable. Morrie dies – but the visits have had their effect on Mitch and he has become more ‘human’ thanks to his wise and wonderful mentor.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see this heart-warming performance – you will not be disappointed.

© 2008 Susan Peake