‘ERNIE’ Comes to Traverse City Summer 2015

Nov 7, 2014 | News, Theatre | 0 comments


eClub Presale: Wednesday, November 12, 2014
General On Sale:  Friday, November 14, 2014
Date/Time:  Wednesday, August 13th – Sunday, August 16th, 2015
Tickets:  $20, $25  Reserved Seating
Box Office:  CityOperaHouse.org; 231-941-8082
106 E. Front St. Traverse City, MI 49684

 TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – City Opera House presents “Ernie,” the smash hit play about the Voice of Summer, written by award–winning author Mitch Albom. “Looong gone”, but never forgotten, the play is dedicated to Ernie Harwell and recounts the life of beloved Tigers announcer and will run August 13th through August 16th, 2015 at City Opera House. Tickets start at $20 and go on sale to the public Friday, November 14, 2014.

“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 thrilled over 42,000 theater-goers over the past two summers. Fans are raving.

“Mitch (Albom) hit a home run- let’s put it that way.” 

“I marveled at all the baseball stories this short play had to tell, ranging from the Giants winning the pennant, to Jackie Robinson, to the ‘68 Tigers changing Detroit. It was all magical.”

“The play brought back memories…And I’ve been a fan, I knew a lot of stories, but there was a lot about the young Ernie I learned, too.”


“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.

The Auto-Owners Insurance LIVE at the Opera House series builds through the year as dynamic shows become available. It’s free to join the City Opera House e-Club. Members get advance notice on new shows and opportunities to buy tickets in advance. Sign up at www.CityOperaHouse.org/eClub.php

A part of the LIVE at the Opera House Series, “Ernie” is presented by BlueCross Blue Shield and sponsored in part by Auto-Owners Insurance and 1310 AM, The Score.


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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