Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

November 15, 2012

REVIEW: Take the time to sit with 'Morrie'

Niagara Gazette — To prepare for this review of the Niagara Regional Theatre Guild’s production of “Tuesdays with Morrie” at the Ellicott Creek Playhouse I re-read Mitch Albom’s well-written book of the same title: I was not disappointed by the outstanding performance of this two man exploration into the power of wisdom and courage versus imminent death.

Doug Smith plays Professor Morrie Schwartz with determination and sensitivity; the audience immediately begins to fall under his Yiddish charm and humor. M. Joseph Fratello deftly portrays Mitch Albom with a warm, charming voice, effectively presenting the confusion in Mitch’s own life choices, as well as his occasional befuddlement with his beloved sociology professor’s fatal prognosis—ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a brutal, unforgiving illness of the neurological system. The progression of the illness is clearly presented by Smith’s intense performance, as well as several wise choices made by Director John Quackenbush, such as economy of set, lively staging, and wonderfully fast-paced scene changes, allowing just enough time to savor the wisdom of the previous scene.

However, the chemistry between Smith and Fratello is the key to this fine production where laughter and tears mingle into an enchanting elixir of humanity. Morrie gives a final lesson to Mitch and the world, teaching us what it is to be human, facing death with dignity, humor, and intelligence. The lesson was well-received by the audience who rose to their feet simultaneously.

Ultimately, the play, like the book, is not depressing — it is life-affirming. “Tuesdays” is uplifting and inspirational and required coursework for all human beings. Performances continue Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday at 530 Ellicott Creek Road, Town of Tonawanda. Tickets are $10 to $14. Call 284-6358 or visit www. niagaratheatre.com. Nine rockets out of ten.

use NAD Fratello mug AND Doug Smith mug (in system) Joseph Fratello Doug Smith

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Night & Day
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page