December 19, 2007

Tuesdays with Morrie


The bestselling book "Tuesdays with Morrie" has been adapted for the stage and the Indiana Repertory Theatre is currently presenting it on its upperstage.

The story revolves around Mitch Albom, a successful journalist who has become caught up in all of life's trappings. Success, money and fame have become priorities and he has lost touch with the simple things he used to love. One day he hears his old college professor Morrie Schwartz is dying. His whirlwind life freezes and he realizes he should visit his ailing friend.

The show is based on Mitch Albom's real life experience. His conversations with Morrie force him to focus on what is truly important in life; community, love, family, joy, beauty and even death. He is searching for the meaning of life, or rather how to find meaning in life.

With death creeping nearer Morrie's thoughts and emotions are raw. His beliefs become clearer and his drive to make sure Mitch finds happiness becomes urgent. Even in the depths of his pain, Morrie is set on sharing his wisdom with Mitch.

The gifted actors make the characters come alive. Their flaws, pain, hope and love are evident in each trembling hand and hurried hug. Ryan Artzberger plays Mitch Albom and Jon Farris plays Morrie. Both men are wonderful, showing in their own ways that though Morrie is physically weak, Mitch is the one whose life is broken.

This simple tale of two men highlights how much one person can influence another's life. One is the teacher, one the student, one is old and the other young. Morrie is losing his freedom, dignity and his strength and Mitch is finding his purpose. The show is a lesson in friendship. It shares the important fact that those willing to make sacrifices in their lives, whether its time, money or comfort, etc., open themselves up to gain so much from others.

Performances: "Tuesdays with Morrie" closed Jan. 13, 2008.

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