NY Fringe Play, Cycling Past the Matterhorn, Gets Michigan Premiere Nov. 18-Dec. 5

News   NY Fringe Play, Cycling Past the Matterhorn, Gets Michigan Premiere Nov. 18-Dec. 5
 
The Theatre Company, the respected hybrid troupe of students and guest-artist professionals at The University of Detroit Mercy, presents the Michigan premiere of Deborah Grimberg's Cycling Past the Matterhorn, Nov. 18-Dec. 5.

The comedy by British playwright Grimberg was seen in the 2003 New York International Fringe Festival. David Regal directs the Michigan production of the comedy about a mother and daughter at a crossroads.

Producer Joseph Smith of RJK Productions in New York is exploring a separate Off-Broadway run of the play for spring 2005.

The UDM cast includes Jenny Altimore, Curtis Green, Sarah Shirkey and featured artists Stephanie L. Nichols and Katja Thomakos.

The play is a fast-paced comedy about Amy and her mother Esther, who, at 56, has been left by her husband and has just discovered she is going blind. These events become a catalyst for both women as the audience watches Esther forge ahead with life — "If Stevie Wonder can do it than so can I!," she says.

Though Esther's journey to Switzerland is literal (she wants to cycle to the Matterhorn) the mountain "is a metaphor for all our lives," Grimberg said. "This is a play about seizing the day and for us to see our own Matterhorns and not to cycle past them." The idea of "seeing" is important to the play, the playwright said. A mediocre psychic, Amy cannot "see," and her mother, who chooses to embrace life fully, is going blind. Will Amy run away to America, or start see life more fully?

Grimberg previously told Playbill On-Line, "I wanted to write a play about how we all can be guilty of shuffling through life with our blinkers on. We stop really 'seeing' the world, and our actions or motives can often be fueled by fear or shame rather than by desire or passion. So that's where the Matterhorn comes in — such an overwhelming, imposing, ageless force of nature and yet perhaps if we're not careful we can all cycle past it without even knowing."

British playwright Grimberg has lived and worked in Israel and Australia and is now settled in New York City. In June 2000, Cycling Past the Matterhorn was awarded the Sherrill C. Corwin Award and the Metropolitan Theatre Award. Her play, The Honey Makers, was produced in The Ensemble Studio Theatre's One-Act Marathon, where she won the James Hammerstein Award for emerging playwright.

Theatre Company performances play the 380-seat Marygrove Theatre, 8425 W. McNichols Road, Detroit.

Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 PM and Sunday afternoons at 2 PM. Tickets for Cycling Past the Matterhorn are $14 regular admission and $12 discount admission for senior citizens, UDM employees and alumni.

For tickets and additional information call the box office Tuesday-Friday 11 AM-5 PM at (313) 993-3270. To contact the box office on performance dates please call the Marygrove Theatre box office at (313) 927-1563.

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When Grimberg spoke to Playbill On-Line about the play in 2003, she explained, "Amy is a young British psychic who spends her days forecasting the troubled lives of your general miserable British public. "She's parked her stall outside Camden tube station and can spot a good lifeline for a tenner — tipping is optional. Life for our young heroine will always be a challenge because — as her mother so reassuringly puts it — she was delivered with forceps."

The New York Fringe cast included Don Fowler, Nina Jacques, Caitlin Loesch-Jones, Kathleen Peirce and Susan Wallack, at The Play Room Aug. 8-24, 2003.

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