By Michele DeLuca
The Tonawanda News
TOWN OF TONAWANDA — The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild is presenting “Tuesdays with Morrie,” a story about a former student’s renewed relationship with his dying professor. The production opens Friday.
Veteran Western New York actor Doug Smith is starring as Morrie.
Smith is currently is the theatre critic for the News' sister paper, the Niagara Gazette and numerous weeklies and has a regular column in the Gazette. In between all of his projects, Doug lists over 50 plays on his resume and was Morrie in NRTG’s production in 2008.
Niagara Falls High School graduate Joseph Fratello, who will play the role of Mitch, is a graduate of Niagara University‘s theater studies program and has appeared in major roles in theater companies throughout Western New York including NRTG’s recent productions of “Jekyll and Hyde the Musical”, “Broadway in Concert” and “Into The Woods” (Cinderella’s Prince).
“Tuesdays with Morrie,” is a stage adaptation of Mitch Albom’s best selling book of the same name.
The play depicts the relationship between a former student and his favorite college professor who is dying of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. One visit turns into a weekly date, where the younger man learns lasting lessons about life and how to really live. The production offers humor and yet provides a moving evening of theatre.
The play is is directed by John Quackenbush of Grand Island and produced by Kristen Rockwell of Tonawanda. Sheila Anderson of Tonawanda is stage manager; Bob Brady of East Aurora is lighting board director, and Dan Morris of Williamsville and Kim Ehrenburg of Buffalo are sound board directors.
A dinner-theater package is being offered on Sunday, with a dinner package at the Grapevine Restaurant, on Niagara Falls Boulevard. Cost is $25 and includes both show ticket and dinner.
Reservations required by calling 284-6358 and for cost for season ticket holders.
Regular shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Nov. 16 and 17.
A matinee will also be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 18.
An opening night reception Friday will include refreshments and a “meet and greet” with the cast and crew will be held in the theatre lobby immediately following the opening night performance.
Tickets are $10 presale and $14 at the door. Senior/student with ID tickets are $13; Children 16 and under are $10; and, groups of over 15 people and school performances have special pricing. All tickets are available by calling ahead and picking up tickets at the box office or purchasing tickets at the box office the day of the performance.
All shows will be presented at NRTG’s new home at the Ellicott Creek Playhouse on the St. Edmund Campus, 530 Ellicott Creek Road, Tonawanda. Call 284-6358 or go to NRTG’s website: www.niagaratheatre.com for reservations, tickets for performance of your choice, new home information, directions, etc. Mastercard, Vista, Amex, and Discover cards are now accepted.