Laugh Along With Mitch

Yes, theatergoers, there is more to Mitch Albom than Tuesdays with Morrie. The noted newspaper columnist and sportswriter, whose compiled chats with his old college professor, Morrie Schwartz, ended up selling 14 million copies and spending four years on The New York Times bestseller list, is also a playwright. Of course, Albom turned Tuesdays into a play (which reached off-Broadway in 2002), but he also premiered two comedies at Michigan’s Purple Rose Theatre Company, one of which, 2004’s Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, proved a big moneymaker for the venue.

The play has had its share of regional productions, but the first New York staging arrived on Long Island on October 27 and will run until November 17, courtesy of the Studio Theatre in Lindenhurst. Marian Waller, who directed Requiem for a Heavyweight and last season’s Self Help for the company, helms the Albom comedy, which—as the title promises—follows a hapless pair of duck hunters who believe they’ve accidentally shot an angel out of the sky. Soon the tabloids get hold of the story, and the media circus begins.

Studio Theatre owner Robert O’Neill told Pulse that Duck Hunter makes a natural fit for his 139-seat venue because of the play’s “good storyline and intimacy. We thought it was a strong script that would work well with our space.” He also noted that the company, which staged Albom’s And the Winner Is two years back, was happy to offer another comedy in its quite light-hearted current season.

“We try to watch society in terms of economic trends,” O’Neill pointed out. “We love doing heavy, theatrical pieces, but at the end of the day, our audience wants to be entertained right now. They want to walk out with a smile on their face, and this just happened to fit that profile.”

Other shows in this Studio season include The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, two Norm Foster comedies, and the funny suspenser, Murder at the Howard Johnson’s. “We haven’t done a drama the past two seasons,” O’Neill sighed, “but for the last show of next season, we’re gonna throw one in.”

Coming To Broadway This Month

The Anarchist
Patti LuPone plays the warden and Debra Winger (making her Broadway debut) plays a prisoner angling for parole in David Mamet’s new drama. Previews start November 13 at the Lyceum Theatre.

Glengarry Glen Ross
Another Broadway airing for David Mamet’s masterpiece about real estate salesmen from hell—and in their own hell. Al Pacino, who played the dapper Ricky in the great film version, now plays the desperate Shelley on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

Golden Boy
Fight or play the violin? That’s the dilemma facing Joe Bonaparte in Clifford Odets’ drama, receiving its first Broadway revival since 1952. A de-Monked Tony Shalhoub plays Joe’s disapproving dad at the Belasco Theatre.

The Performers
An aging porn star meets an up and cummer in David West Read’s new comedy at the Longacre Theatre, featuring Cheyenne Jackson and everybody’s favorite Fonz, Henry Winkler.