Tuesdays With Morrie

I think we have all attended a play or musical performance that failed to meet expectations. We clapped half-heartedly and were anxious to be on our way. But alas, a less discerning member of the audience stood for an ovation and slowly… ever so slowly… person by person (lone sheep by lone sheep) more people joined in. I HATE THAT!

And so this past weekend watching Tuesdays with Morrie on-stage at the histori Jones Theater, I was thrilled to leap from my seat and join the audience in an instantaneous, collective, electrically-charged standing ovation. The audience response was a tidal wave of enthusiasm.

If you read Mitch Albom‘s  memoir Tuesdays with Morrie, you are going to love the play and the players. You’ve heard the buzz and the word-on-the street. You cannot miss this production. If you haven’t seen the play yet, you can still attend Friday or Saturday, July 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. The final performance will be Sunday, July 23 at 2 p.m.

Under the able direction of Scott Chapmann, Tom (Frosty) Frostman plays Morrie, a retired professor who is in the final stages of ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Riley Capp plays Mitch, one of Morrie’s former students who is a driven, renowned, sports columnist. Nearly 20 years have passed since Mitch was Morrie’s student, but on hearing of his mentor’s illness, Mitch reconnects with Morrie where, over fourteen visits, Mitch learns as much about living as he does about death.

 

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Life at a distance

If this sounds grim and depressing, I promise you that it is not. In the opening scene, Morrie is dancing. His moves are external manifestations of an internal lust for life. He may be dying, but he is complete. In contrast, Morrie’s former student is healthy, successful and incomplete.

 

I don’t have the script in front of me, but I have my copy of Mitch Albom’s memoir at my side. Without the author’s permission, I’ll share a short passage. The passage is short, but the summation tells all. Mitch asks Morrie, how he would spend his day if he had only 24 hours left before death:

“I’d get up in the morning, do my exercises, have a lovely breakfast of sweet rolls and tea, go for a swim, then have my friends come over for a nice lunch. I’d have them come one or two at a time so we could talk about their families, their issues, talk about how much we mean to each other.

 

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Life Up Close and Personal

 

“Then I’d like to go for a walk, in the garden with some trees, watch their colors, watch the birds, take in the nature that I haven’t seen in so long now.

“In the evening, we’d all go together to a restaurant with some great pasta, maybe some duck – I love duck – and then we’d dance the rest of the night. I’d dance with all the wonderful dance partners out there, until I was exhausted. And then I’d go home and have a deep, wonderful sleep.”

Mitch wonders how Morrie, after being paralyzed for so long, could find such pleasure in such an average day. And then Mitch writes, “Then I realized this was the whole point.”

 

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Mark Dembosky and Brian Docherty do nothing but sit on the deck taking in the view from Promontory Ridge, Centennial Ranch

 

On a more personal note, I am always delighted when synchronicity comes into play. Just last week, before seeing the play or re-reading Mitch Albom’s memoir, I completed an assignment for Shavano Poets.  Our task was to channel the work of U.K. artist Tom Phillips who layers his poems on top of artwork and imported text. Apparently, Morrie and I were already on the dance floor.

 

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My bones know winter is coming… my sun is setting. My body isn’t what it was , but my restless soul rests more. Leaping up, I thumb my nose a propriety. Wearing a tutu, I twirl and whirl tripping my life fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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4 Responses to Tuesdays With Morrie

  1. Monica Currie says:

    Doris – that was wonderful! I loved the book when I read it years ago. I think it’s time I hit again even if I make it up to Westcliffe Sunday to see the play

  2. timeout2 says:

    Dear Monica, You must come up! Unfortunately Mark and I will be off to Copper Mountain etc for the Courage Classic, so we won’t see you. But trust me – the show is worth the trip. Miss you. xo

  3. Hi Doris, What a great photograph with Mark and Brian. I hope I can sit there too soon. Recently I tried to dance at our street party and was out of breath before I managed to get in tune with my English dance partner. Next day my knee hurt. Still – it all was great fun.

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