fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Where There's Smoke, There's Salmon

The title of this entry is one of several funny one-liners from the play I saw this afternoon. Zero Hour is Jim Brochu's one-man show about Zero Mostel. The structure, which involves Mostel speaking to (and abusing) an interviewer, is not horribly original, but that's a minor criticism. Brochu depicts Mostel as a very funny man, but also an angry and tragic figure. Part of the anger is, of course, because of having been blacklisted during the McCarthy era (and the effect of the blacklist on some of his friends, notably Phil Loeb). But there are other stories of rejection, including a very moving one that ties into his portrayal of Tevye. This is leavened with bits from Mostel's night club act and various other random one-liners, which effectively diffuse the tension. (I will note that the Brochu's take on Mostel's later relationship with Jerome Robbins differs from what I heard Sheldon Harnick say in an interview a few months ago.)

This is well-written and well-acted material and definitely worth seeing. It's playing at Theater J (at the Washington, D.C. Jewish Community Center) through September 27th and will, apparently, be moving off-Broadway after its run here.
Tags: theatre

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