Mitch Albom (Tuesdays With Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven) is, well, a bit of a cheeseball. A prosperous, prolific cheeseball, yes but a little hokey-pokey around the edges, with all those stories of redemption, forgiveness and hope. Alboms And the Winner Is , however, while certainly a story about redemption, is not a drama or a dramedy, by any stretch, says Craig A. Bond, who directs the productions regional premiere. I would bill this completely as a comedy, he says. Theres very little thats touching in such a way that the audience will cry.
The script originally commissioned for Jeff Danielss Purple Rose Theatre Company follows Tyler Johnes, a self-obsessed movie star who dies the night before the Academy Awards ceremony at which he has been nominated. Unsatisfied with his fate, the actor sells his soul for a chance to attend the big show, stopping to examine his life along the way.
It is Scrooge-like, says Bond of the way the main character reflects, from an afterworld distance, on various moments during his life when he hurt others. But its not as simple as A Christmas Carol set in Hollywood. I think its inspired by an L.A.-story-meets-Dickens, as far as the Scrooge-like character goes the L.A. story being the agents and the uptight L.A. lingo and how the characters explore those dynamics.
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Starring Kurt Brighton as Johnes, And the Winner Is
opens tonight at Vintage Theatre, 2119 East 17th Avenue, and plays weekends through March 22. Tickets are $17 in advance and $22 at the door. For showtimes and tickets, go to www.vintagetheatre.com or call 303-839-1361.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m.; Tue., March 3, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 20. Continues through March 22, 2009