The world premiere is directed by Purple Rose artistic director Guy Sanville. PRTC presented the world premiere of Albom's Duck Hunter Shoots Angel in 2004 and a commercial transfer to Detroit followed.
As the new play's title suggests, "it is awards season in Hollywood when movie star Tyler Johnes wakes up in a strange bar where time has no meaning and nothing is as it seems," according to PRTC. "All Johnes wants is to get to the Oscars so he can accept the Best Supporting Actor award he thinks he so richly deserves, but the odd bartender named Seamus keeps throwing a wrench in the works. Unexpected appearances by his agent, his old acting partner, his well-endowed escort and his soon-to-be ex-wife further complicate Johnes' attempts to keep his date with destiny. Flavored with Albom's signature introspection, And the Winner Is has all the charm of 'It's a Wonderful Life' for life in the fast lane."
The cast includes Paul Hopper, Sarab Kamoo, Grant R. Krause and Wayne David Parker, with two actors making their PRTC debut: Eastern Michigan University graduate Jerri Doll and Chelsea native Patrick Michael Kenney.
Albom co-wrote (with Jeffrey Hatcher) the stage version of his best-selling memoir, "Tuesdays With Morrie," and it's blossoming in regional theatres. A national tour starring Hal Linden will go out in fall 2005. Duck Hunter Shoots Angel is also starting to appear regionally. Albom's current best-seller is "The Five People You Meet in Heaven." His sports writing and general-interest columns appear in The Detroit Free Press.
Of And the Winner Is, director Guy Sanville said in production notes, "It's a quirky, heartfelt and slightly wicked tale of life, death and sacrifice. Mitch uses humor as a window into the human heart." Performances continue to Aug. 27. Opening night is July 1.
Designers are Vincent Mountain (set), Reid G. Johnson (lighting), Christianne Myers (costume), Danna Segrest (prop) and Quintessa Gallinat (sound).
All performances are held at The Purple Rose Theatre Company, 137 Park Street, Chelsea, MI, 60 miles west of Detroit.
For tickets and information, call (734) 433-ROSE (7673) or visit www.purplerosetheatre.org.