There must be thousands of us who would give anything to return to a memorable class with our favorite professor, the one class where we were so mesmerized we forgot to take notes. But this time we would be ready to listen well.
That golden opportunity came to U.S. journalist Mitch Albom. Twenty years out of college, he turned on his TV and saw Morrie Schwartz, his old university sociology professor, on Ted Koppel’s “Nightline” news program. Albom contacted the 78-year-old Schwartz, who was dying of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The former student decided to visit his professor, and his regular Tuesday visits turned into Schwartz’s final series of life lectures on love, values, friendship, family, acceptance, communication, happiness and death, that most significant lesson of all.
Albom wrote a nonfiction novel about these meetings in 1997, and “Tuesdays with Morrie” became the top national bestseller in 2000. A TV movie version starring Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria aired in 1999.
Schwartz’s insights and outlook, so inspirational to Albom, may now move local English-speaking audiences as well. Directed and adapted for theater by Canadian Noel Montagano, “Tuesdays with Morrie” is being presented this weekend by the Little Theatre Group (LTG) of Costa Rica, the oldest English-language community theater group in Central America. The production is being staged as a dramatic reading and stars three talented members of the theater group: Tony Kasday, Larry Shaw and Cliff Robison.
The play runs this weekend only, with performances Aug. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 8 at 2:30 p.m. at the Laurence Olivier Theater in San José, on Avenida 2, Calle 28, next to Sala Garbo theater.
Reservations may be made at 8858-1446 or www.littletheatregroup.org. Through special arrangement with Tin Jo and Hotel Grano de Oro restaurants, theatergoers who reserve tickets online may also reserve dinner or brunch online.