published Friday, November 18th, 2011

Touching 'Tuesdays With Morrie' set for Colonnade


What: "Tuesdays With Morrie."

When: 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and Nov. 25; 1 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 26.

Where: Catoosa County Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, Ga.

Admission: $11 adults, $9 seniors/students, $8 groups.

Phone: 706-935-9000.

Mitch Albom didn't realize his education wasn't over when he left Brandeis University.

And although he eventually received two graduate degrees from Columbia University, a valuable part of his education came during weekly visits to the home of a dying former professor, Morrie Schwartz.

The stage production of the autobiographical, best-selling book about their actual visits, "Tuesdays With Morrie," will be presented by Closed Door Entertainment at the Catoosa County Colonnade beginning tonight.

The lesson Albom learned, and which audiences should pick up, according to director J.C. Smith, is "to live your life; don't just exist."

"It follows [the book] pretty closely," he said.

Smith is both directing and portraying Albom in the two-person cast, but he said his co-star, Greg Rambin, who portrays Schwartz, may as well be co-director.

He said Rambin is "one of the most talented actors in the area. Working with him is a dream."

The true story begins when Albom, 16 years after his graduation, sees Schwartz on a television news program and learns he has Lou Gehrig's disease. That prompts Albom, at the time a career-driven journalist, into a visit, which turns into a weekly ritual that is alternately funny, touching and tragic.

The set, Smith said, is intentionally minimalist and the color scheme "very, very muted."

"That allows the focus to be on the show," he said.

While Smith said the Colonnade over the years has favored comedies and musicals, his production company's "To Kill a Mockingbird" recently had a good run, so he is hopeful for "Tuesdays With Morrie."

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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