A.D. Players at The George is pleased to open the new year with Tuesdays With Morrie, a story of friendship, love and what it means to truly live. A.D. Players is thrilled to present this play with two Broadway veterans helming the two-person script, Kevin Cooney and Jake Speck.
Mitch Albom’s book, Tuesdays With Morrie topped the New York Bestseller List in 2000, has sold 15 million copies, and been published in 50 different editions worldwide.
There is something about the story of successful sports writer Mitch Albom reconnecting with his beloved college professor Morrie Schwartz as Morrie goes through the final stages of ALS that resonates with people.
“When you learn how to die, you learn how to truly live,” a quote by Morrie Schwartz, has become a sort of mantra for embracing life.
Executive director of A.D. Players, Jake Speck, is taking the stage here for the first time in the role of Mitch Albom. Jake moved to Houston in August of 2017 to join A.D. Players after serving as co-founder and managing director of Studio Tenn in Franklin, Tennessee. Speck was seen on the Broadway stage for two years in Jersey Boys, Off Broadway and regional productions of The Fastest Woman Alive, Les Miserables, Twelve Angry Men, Spamalot and many more, as well as appearances in film and on TV.
When asked about doing this show at this time, Speck said, “My background is really more in theater than musical theater. It’s fun to get back to more of my roots and take on this role. I have been here for a year now, and it felt like the right time to step into the role of actor.”
A Houston native, Kevin Cooney takes the A.D. Player stage for the first time, but he is no stranger to performing. His Broadway debut was in The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, and he hasn’t stopped performing across the country ever since. Cooney’s resume is vast from multiple shows at TUTS in Houston, to New Jersey, California and National Tours, not to mention his extensive career in Los Angeles in television and film.
“Kevin and Jake have a tremendous chemistry together. It’s such a gift to have two veteran actors to tackle this beautiful show,” said director Jennifer Dean.
Dean has worked off and on as a director at A.D. Players over the last 15 years, as well as directing and acting around town.
“This story connects with people,” Dean said. “It’s simple: two men facing the realities of life and death and what it means to truly live. Things that we all think about, but don’t always want to talk about. Rehearsing the show makes me reckon every day with what I am doing, and if I am making my life about the right things. It’s a heart check. I hope that’s what it is for the audience, as well.”
The show opens on January 25 at 8 p.m. with preview performances on January 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m., and runs until February 10. Tickets are available online at ADPlayers.org or by calling The George box office at 713-526-2721.
A.D. Players at The George, founded in 1967 by Jeannette Clift George, produces compelling theatre that upholds human value, celebrates creativity and engages a diverse audience. The company is one of Houston’s largest resident theatre companies, impacting more than nine million people over its lifetime. Annually, the company produces mainstage theater performances, fields a regional touring unit and maintains a year-round performing arts academy.