Heart strings pulled, tears ready to flow

By Katie Alicea-Tilton
Citizen Chronicle Theatre Critic

📸 Gateway Players Theatre courtesy photos

SOUTHBRIDGE — People come and go in life but a select few leave such an imprint that even after years you can pick up and go right where you left off.  Gateway Players Theater has brought to stage a pull at your heart strings production that far too many of us can relate to. “Tuesdays with Morrie: The Play,” written by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, and based on the book written by Albom, is currently playing at Fellowship Hall at the Elm Street Congregational Church, 61 Elm Street, Southbridge.

This emotional two man show takes place in the mid-1990’s with Mitch Albom (Seth Jajliardo) taking the audience down memory lane to his Massachusetts college days and the day he first met Professor Morrie Schwartz (Jim Douglas), a man who quickly becomes more than a teacher but a mentor, a friend, a loved one. Just like most relationships after college people tend to drift part and go their own way and find their own path.  Mitch then proceeds to go on how Morrie comes back into his life and not in a good way.  Mitch quickly realizes that a man who was once such a very important part of his life, a man who had helped him to become the successful man he is today was now a man who could use some help in return.  Help in the means of being a friend, someone to talk to, someone to just be there.

Mitch decides to block out all of his Tuesdays to spend with Morrie.  They talk about the past, future, life, love and everything in between. Morrie’s struggles leave Mitch questioning things about his own life. Morrie said it best “without love we are birds with broken wings”. The two chose to take advantage of the time they have together and just enjoy each other’s company.

At the beginning of the show Director Suzanne Adams addressed the audience and explained why this show was so important to her and so very close to her heart.  Her personal experience with the storyline helped her to put together an amazing production.  Jajliardo and Douglas had such a powerful chemistry on stage, one so strong and real that I was glad that I always have tissues in my purse.  Adams along with Producer Kathi Grenier, Stage Manager Allen Adams and the backstage crew pulled through with a great night of theatre. I highly recommend supporting your local theatre group and getting out to see Tuesdays with Morrie. The story has it highs and its lows just like everyday life but it reminds us to take advantage of the life given to us and to live each and every day to the fullest.  There are still three chances to catch a showing, September 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and September 22 at 2 p.m.

If you forget your tissues, don’t worry Gateway Players has conveniently placed boxes around the room for your convenience.

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