The stage version of Tuesdays with Morrie premiered in an acclaimed production at New York Stage and Film in Poughkeepsie, New York in Summer 2002, and opened off-Broadway on November 19, 2002, to highly favorable reviews at the Minetta Lane Theatre.
Co-authored by Mitch Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher (Three Viewings) and directed by David Esbjornson (The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?, My Old Lady), Tuesdays with Morrie starred Alvin Epstein (original Lucky in Waiting for Godot) as Morrie and Jon Tenney (The Heiress) as Mitch.
Since then, the play has seen productions across the globe, including a 25 city tour and independent productions at the Seattle Repertory, Laguna Playhouse and American Heartland Theatre, to name a few.
“Unforgettable! No matter how well you tell the story, the play makes it more vivid, more shattering, more humorous…This is a play that might – incredibly, just might – change your life.” – New York Magazine
“I was unprepared for how moving and powerful Tuesdays With Morrie turned out to be. The two actors are beyond praise. Epstein delicately evokes wisdom and love. John Tenney is wonderful. On this ground, the flowers of humanity grow.” – New York Post
“Making the language of the book crisper, cleverer…aphoristic wisdom, expressed with gallows wit.” – The New York Times
“You’ll Laugh! You’ll Cry!” – Variety
“The evening has an aura of celebration. Just what the doctor ordered, you are likely to be moved. Superbly directed by David Esbjornson.” – The Journal News
“Packed with humor and insight. Make time for it.” – The Fayetteville Observer
“Rewarding. Go see it any day of the week.” – WOR-AM
“It’s a wonderful duet of friendship, love, forgiveness and wisdom passed on, all of it imparted without a trace of sanctimony or spurious manipulation. As you walk out of the theater, you’ll feel you need them in your life as much as they need each other. ” – Telegram.com
“Highly engaging, thought-provoking, witty and cathartic” – New Zealand Performing Arts Review
Duck Hunter Shoots Angel was Mitch Albom’s first play not based on a book and his first comedy. The story of two bumbling Alabama duck-hunting brothers who think they accidentally shot down an angel debuted in the summer of 2004 at the Purple Rose Theater, in Chelsea, Michigan, a theater started by actor Jeff Daniels. The premiere was directed by Purple Rose Theatre Co.’s Artistic Director Guy Sanville.
It went on to become that theater’s highest-grossing play. It then moved to downtown Detroit for a good stretch at the City Theatre before moving on to other productions around the country.
Hailed by audiences as a comedy with a heartfelt message, the play follows the intersecting paths of the two guilt-ridden duck hunters, a depressed tabloid journalist, his reluctant photographer, their crazed boss, a shopgirl at a local Gasmart, a half-man/half-alligator, and a ghost. The themes of redemption, race, media and north vs, south are all explored in hilarious fashion, and the play features a surprise ending that few playgoers see coming.
“Works – ‘big time’ as duck hunter Dick Cheney might say – because it’s sufficiently audacious to surprise and sufficiently familiar to comfort.” – Chris Jones, Variety
“…[the play] takes risks and entertains, making it a wholly worthy experiment.” – Jenn McKee, The Ann Arbor News
“[Mitch Albom] wisely populates his story not with stereotypes, but with unique individuals. Sure, we chuckle uproariously at their antics. But underneath their colorful exteriors we discover a wonderfully diverse cross-section of humanity…Albom’s play is an actor’s playground.” – Donald V. Calamia, Between The Lines
And The Winner Is was Mitch Albom’s second comedy. It saw its world premiere at the Purple Rose Theater in Chelsea, MI, in the summer of 2005 and its west coast premiere at the Laguna Playhouse in the summer of 2006. And the Winner Is tells the comic story of Tyler Johnes, a self-obsessed movie star, who is finally nominated for an Oscar, then dies the night before the awards. Outraged at his bad luck and determined to know if he wins (even though he’s dead), he bargains with a heavenly gatekeeper to return to earth for the big night. Along the way, he drags his agent, his acting rival, his bombshell girlfriend and his ex-wife into the journey, in a wildly twisting tale of Hollywood, the afterlife, and how we are judged.
And The Winner Is was directed by Purple Rose Theatre Co.’s Artistic Director Guy Sanville. “It’s a quirky, heartfelt and slightly wicked tale of life, death and sacrifice,” Sanville says. About his second collaboration with the playwright, he continues, “Mitch uses humor as a window into the human heart.”
The play has been hailed for its wit, originality and hilarious portrayal of Hollywood values.
“I suppose it is always a worthwhile thing to be reminded about mending relationships and getting right with God before it is too late. But it is truly a rare and special thing to have such a reminder included in one of the funniest plays I’ve ever seen.” – Robert Delaney, The Detroit Monitor
“‘Winner’ shares with Albom’s bestselling ‘Morrie’ and ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ the subject of life and the lessons it teaches.” – Daryl H. Miller, Los Angeles Times
“Think It’s A Wonderful Life right down to the Seamus/Clarence character. But Albom’s version offers a fresh, funny twist. Look for plenty of digs at Hollywood, the movie business, lengthy awards shows and celebrity egos… Much of the humor is rooted in ridiculous truth.” – Judith Cookis-Rubens, Oakland Press
Albom play, cast win in the end: Despite simple appearances, Winner has considerable ambitions: “…takes on considerable emotional heft and poignancy, and Albom achieves a fitting end that is simultaneously inevitable and surprising. Albom also, throughout the play, offers up a good deal of bright, cynical humor…” – Jenn McKee, The Ann Arbor News
“Looong gone”, but never forgotten.
“Ernie,” Mitch Albom’s much-anticipated new play dedicated to Ernie Harwell, made its world premiere April 2011 at the City Theatre in Detroit, one block from Comerica Park and just in time for fans to visit with the “Voice of Summer” once again.
“Ernie” is set on Ernie Harwell’s last night at Comerica, when the Hall of Fame broadcaster is about to give a moving thank you to a grateful city. Just before he walks onto the grassy field, he encounters an unusual boy who is eager to know all about him, coaxing Harwell into giving one final broadcast – the “broadcast of his life.”
In real life, Harwell and Albom spoke often about doing a stage play one day. According to Harwell’s longtime friend and attorney, S. Gary Spicer, Ernie “had always hoped Mitch would author it”. Having called Harwell a friend for 25 years, Albom, the hugely successful playwright behind “Tuesdays With Morrie”, was willing to collaborate, but in 2009 Harwell’s health faded and the project had to be shelved.
After Ernie’s passing, Albom picked up the pen again, and the result has become the highest-attended show in the history of the City Theatre, with more than 40,000 patrons.
“Ernie’s story transcends sports,” Albom says. “It’s a story of 20th century Americana and a love affair with baseball and a childhood sweetheart. Ernie went through the Depression, World War II, the segregation of sports –he also called some of the grandest moments ever witnessed on a ball field. It’s an honor to bring such a rich character to the stage – especially for so many fans who loved him.”
The play features actual footage from historic baseball moments, supplied courtesy of Major League Baseball, and boasts many unmistakable Harwell calls. Tiger fans will get a glimpse of the time that Ernie met the Great Bambino and Ty Cobb. They’ll witness how he “recreated” games in his early days, and what was behind his broadcasts of the Tigers’ 1968 and 1984 World Series.
In addition, a portion of the proceeds from “Ernie” will go to several of his most-loved charities.
Take Ernie Home
Remember “Ernie” for years to come with any of the official clothing, posters and collectibles, available in the lobby of The City Theatre, or at The Detroit Shoppe in Somerset Collection in Troy, Michigan.