First Posted: 1/15/2009
Clint Eastwood's “Million Dollar Baby” is a sports flick that turns in easily into a compelling drama which makes everyone question whether they would pull the plug to end a loved one's suffering.
A similar life-and-death struggle smacked award-winning Detroit sports writer Mitch Albom in the face one night. Albom was watching “Nightline With Ted Koppel” when he saw an old college professor, Morrie Schwartz, talk about how he was dying of amyotropic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
He dropped his double expresso and called Schwartz to arrange a visit. It turned into weekly get-togethers, and then a book, “Tuesdays With Morrie,” which stayed on the New York Times Bestseller list for 205 weeks.
It's now a play that is showing at Fayetteville's Cape Fear Regional Theatre through Nov. 19.
The autobiographical show chronicles the relationship between a sports writer and a sociology professor. It is an emotional journey that sees Morrie teach Albom about the important things in life.
“Are you being as human as you possibly can be?” he asks Albom.
As Morrie's health deteriorates, more lessons emerge. He goes quickly from a dance-loving man to recliner-bound patient. Near the end, Albom drops this reflection, “Leaves are never more colorful then just before they die.”
But the show is not a morbid reminder that death awaits as much as it is a reminder to maintain human relationships and to enjoy the humor and beauty of life.
John Murphy, a New York actor, portrays Morrie. Chapel Hill thespian Chuck Muckle is Albom. The TV version, starring Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria, won five Emmys.
Albom went on to write another bestseller, “Five People You Meet in Heaven,” which was turned into a fantastic TV movie. His latest book, “For One More Day,” is currently the New York Times No. 1 fiction book.
Tickets range from $19 to $27. For information, call (910) 323-4233.
n “Cinderella” will be performed Thursday at the Givens Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $7. For information, call 521-6361.
n The Fayetteville State Theatre Department will perform “Home For Christmas” through Sunday. For information, call (910) 672-1006.
n Studio One of the Public Schools of Robeson County will perform “Into of the Woods” Nov. 20 and Nov. 21 and Nov. 24 and Nov. 25 at the Givens Performing Arts Center. n “Wonderful Town” will be performed Nov. 28 at the Givens Performing Arts Center. Tickets range from $15 to $28. For information, call 521-6361.
n The Charlie Daniels Band performs Friday at the Crown Theatre. For information, visit www.communiuty-concerts.com.
n INXS will perform Nov. 18 at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Tickets range from $50 to $53. For information, call (800) 272-3000.
n Todd Agnew and New Sound will perform Christian music Nov. 30 at the Crown Coliseum. Tickets range from $20 to $30. For information, call (910) 323-5088.
n Pat Boone will perform a Christmas show Dec. 1 at the Givens Performing Arts Center. Tickets range from $15 to $22. For information, call 521-6361.
n Marie Osmond will perform Dec. 6 at the Crown Theatre. For information, visit www.communiuty-concerts.com.
n The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will perform Dec. 14 at Raleigh's RBC Center. For information, call (919) 223-300 or visit www.livenation.com.
n Michael Jaenicke can be reached at [email protected].