Metro Stops: Dupont Circle – Red line or U Street/Cardozo-Green line. Directionshere.
Cost: All tickets are half price for people 35 and under (and the Sunday shows are only $30 to begin with). Next tuesday (9/15) they are selling $25 dollar tickets. There are also $12.50 tix from Goldstar.
Rating: 4.5/5 Starving Artists
A solo show is a difficult thing to pull off. It is a monumental task for one person to keep an audience engaged for a whole show, and the line between wonderful and dreadful is razor thin. But in Zero Hour, Jim Brochu proves he is well up to the challenge. He tackles the complex and contradictory life of Zero Mostel with a flourish that is captivating from the moment the lights come up. Brochu, who also wrote the script, brings this mammoth of the theater back to life for one more night of thought provoking entertainment.
Brochu is as dynamic as the hysterical (in both senses of the word) Mostel, the star of Broadway, film, and TV. The play treats us to an opportunity that may never have existed in life: to be present for an evening in Mostel’s private sanctuary, his art studio. Initially, this setting seemed odd. Why set a play about a famous actor in an art studio? But Mostel is quick to explain that his passion was always painting, and that he only acted “to buy more paint”. I am glad that painting is an expensive hobby, or the world might have been deprived of its Tevye, or Pseudolus or Max Bialystock. And so, we enter Mostel’s inner sanctum. There is, in the play, an unseen and unheard newspaper reporter, asking Mostel questions about his life, but this character seems indulgently willing to let Mostel wander from story to story with few interjections. In this way, the play doesn’t feel much like an interview, but more like watching the inner workings of Mostel’s mind. He interrupts himself, sometimes with a witty line, and sometimes because he appears to have forgotten what he is saying.
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