Fri, Mar 09, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Drama: Lifelong learning

By Andrew C.C. Huang  /  Contributing Reporter

Popular TV actor Pu Hsueh-liang, left, plays Mitch Albom in Tuesdays With Morrie.

Photo Courtesy of Godot Theater

What can you accomplish in 14 weeks? In idle hands, a season can easily pass in aimless fun. In the case of Mitch, he learns to love again.

Tuesdays With Morrie (最後14堂星期二的課), Godot Theater’s Chinese-language adaptation of Mitch Albom’s 1997 best-selling novel, is being performed at Taipei’s Metropolitan Hall (台北市社教館城市舞台) until March 11, before moving to the Taichung Chungshan Hall (台中市中山堂) on March 17 and March 18.

Since its premiere last month, the popular tear-jerker has clocked up more than 40 shows, and this is its fifth revival.

The production will move to Shanghai after its Taiwan run.

Directed by Daniel Yang (楊世彭), the production boasts theater thespian Chin Shih-chieh (金士傑) and popular TV actor Pu Hsueh-liang (卜學亮) in the leads.

Adapted from Albom’s autobiographical novel, the play follows the hotshot journalist Mitch as he reconnects with his college mentor Morrie.

Because Morrie is dying from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement, Mitch opts to meet him every Tuesday for heart-to-heart conversations for 14 weeks.

The book has sold 14 million copies worldwide and was turned into an Emmy-winning TV movie by Oprah Winfrey in 2000. The book’s Chinese edition has sold more than 700,000 copies in Taiwan.

“This production has been an unexpected hit,” Yang told the Taipei Times in an interview on Thursday last week. “I approached Godot Theater about this heart-moving play and said it might lose money, but it actually became a crowd drawer.”

As the latest mentor/protege heart-warmer in the vein of Good Will Hunting and Finding Forrester, this inspirational play’s unflinching depiction of death tackles the taboo surrounding the topic.

Performance Notes

What: Tuesdays With Morrie (最後14堂星期二的課)

When and Where: March 9 at 7:30pm, March 10 at 2:30pm and 7:30pm and March 11 at 2:30pm at Metropolitan Hall (台北市社教館城市舞台), 25, Bade Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (北市八德路三段25號). March 17 at 7:30pm and March 18 at 2:30pm at Taichung Chungshan Hall (台中市中山堂), 98 Syueshih Rd, Greater Taichung (台中市學士路98號).

Admission: Tickets are NT$600 to NT$3,000, available through NTCH ticketing, online at www.artsticket.com.tw and at 7-Eleven ibon kiosks

On the Net: www.godot.org.tw


“The story covers marriage, family, father-and-son relationships and friendship,” Yang said. “Everyone will find something to relate to. The audiences really react to the performance and the story.”

At the heart of the story is the long series of candid chats on topics ranging from life to love. Because of its empowering theme, the play has been dubbed “chicken soup” theater in China.

“Most audiences have read or heard about this book and they come expecting an elevating experience,” Yang said. “The lessons between Mitch and Morrie are over, but our lessons with the audiences continue.”

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