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Hollywood Snippets

by Ron Irwin

Tuesdays with Morrie, a powerful love story

Larry Eisenberg as Morrie and Jackson Kendall as Mitch


Journalist Mitch Albom wrote a book, a memoir detailing the powerful emotions generated as he stood by his long time best friend Morrie Schwartz as he, Morrie came to terms with the diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease a non-curable and always fatal disease.    The story was transformed into a television movie released in 1999 starring two time Oscar winner Jack Lemmon as Morrie and Hank Azaria as Mitch.  The movie received rave reviews and a Golden Globe nomination.  Now this powerful story is on stage at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, Sierra Madre, California. 

Larry Eisenberg as Morrie and Jackson Kendall as Mitch


After seeing this 90 minute show, about 89.9 minutes of which are spell binding I invited its stars; Larry Eisenberg as Morrie and  Jackson Kendall as Mitch to be guests on my radio shows which can be heard here: The show is without a doubt compelling, riveting and powerful.  The performances by Larry Eisenberg and Jackson Kendall were nothing short of star quality.  Yes I indeed enjoyed the show tremendously but I could not stop wondering exactly how it was that a show that set out the events of a man’s inevitable death could be so absolutely compelling.

Mitch meet Professor Morrie Schwartz while attending Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.  On graduation day for Mitch he promised his beloved professor that he would keep in touch.  Then Mitch went out to pursue a career in music.  That did not work out as he hoped and he eventually became a successful sports journalist.  Finally after 16 years Mitch reached out to Morrie and they reunited only this time Mitch learned that his friend Morrie had been diagnosis with the deadly ALS disease for which there is no cure. 

Larry Eisenberg as Morrie and Jackson Kendall as Mitch


What unfolds as the two continue to meet every Tuesday is a steady downward progression of Morrie’s physical health but even as that was happening Morrie demonstrated a steady flow of wit and wisdom that hit Mitch like a tsunami of love, wisdom and compassion and that is really what is at the core of this incredible show. 

The truth is we will all die eventually, so that is not the question nor really the essence of the show.  The essence of the show is despite the inevitable death what matters most is how you live the life that you have.  Clearly Morrie was rich in love and wit and charm that carried him gracefully through his horrible disease.  That reality deeply impacted Mitch and give him a whole new way to approach and embrace life.  And it is very much that power that makes this show, Tuesdays with Morrie one the most compelling on stage today.

You can enjoy this wonderful show for yourself at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 West Sierra Madre Boulevard, Sierra Madre, California 91034.  Show days are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.  Now through March 18th 2019.  Yes March 18th is a Monday and on that day it is a “pay what you can” special performance.  It is important to note that a portion of all ticket sales has been pledged to help ALS research.  Make your reservations now by calling 626-355-4318 or online at:  www.sierramadreplayhouse.orgPhotos:Sierra Madre Playhouse



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