I saw a production of Tuesdays with Morrie on Tuesday. More for the company and to be able to go to a whole lot of theatre in a two week period. Whatever. Tuesdays with Morrie is Mitch Albom’s novel about his former professor. Albom visits Morrie Schwartz with a tape recorder for months and ends up writing a book based on the conversations.
The professor isn’t just anyone, it’s Morrie Schwartz, A Sociologist from Brandeis University. Morrie was a professor who helped his students dodge the draft to Vietnam, and intermediated in some of the interracial conflicts on his campus. The type of guy who would be a wise old man, and thats exactly what happened.
The play is basically an abridged version of what the book would be. You see Albom struggling to reconnect with Morrie, and a compassionate old man whos ethics are immaculate. It’s well put on, the Ensemble put some great actors in the play, and you can’t help but feel drawn in by the 2 men and their relationship. The trouble isn’t in the actors, it’s more the play itself.
Tuesdays with Morrie was written to be a book—not a play. Hank Azaria starred in a television movie based on the book, and after that I suppose this play was written. It’s not meant to be a play though: and so it doesn’t quite work. Much like you’d expect, you miss out on details, the characters aren’t perfectly well developed, and what makes a book interesting to read doesn’t neccessarily make a play interesting to watch.
It’s not bad, and the Ensemble is a really pretty theatre to go to—you’ll feel warm and fuzzy after seeing the play, but it’s not great theatre. If you’ve read the book and liked it, or if you want to see an abridged book on stage, you may want to see this play.