Jeff Daniels, the stage and movie actor who also became a playwright in the past decade, after he founded The Purple Rose Theatre Company in his hometown of Chelsea, MI, performs live on his venue's stage for voice-and-guitar concerts, Dec. 27-Jan. 4, 2003.
Daniels has yet to act in a play at his Equity theatre in Chelsea, 60 miles west of Detroit, but this marks the second time he's sat to sing his own songs and tell stories in an evening called Onstage & Unplugged. The actor-writer plays eight performances of the show, using acoustic guitar and singing songs both poignant and funny. Proceeds go to PRTC's operating budget. (Last year's version of the show sold out.) Daniels' most recent play, Across the Way, continues at Purple Rose to Dec. 21. It was selected as a finalist for the American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award, for new work produced outside New York City.
Daniels told Playbill On-Line earlier this year that he created Purple Rose in 1991 to support and nurture Michigan actors. Over the years the theatre has blossomed to be a kind of Circle Repertory Company of the Midwest, devoted to new American plays, particularly the Midwest voice. Daniels cut his teeth as a young professional actor in Circle Rep stagings in New York, including Fifth of July.
Tickets for the intimate evenings with Daniels are $45-$60. For information, visit www.purplerosetheatre.org or call (734) 433 ROSE.
— By Kenneth Jones