RAHWAY — American Theater Group, New Jersey’s newest professional theater, will present “Zero Hour,” Jim Brochu’s acclaimed play about the life of theatre legend Zero Mostel. “Zero Hour” kicks off ATG’s premiere season from Oct. 3-21 at Hamilton Stage, located at 360 Hamilton Street, Rahway.
For his performance in “Zero Hour,” Jim Brochu received the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance and a Helen Hayes Award for Best Actor in a Play. “Zero Hour” ran 14 months and played 238 performances Off-Broadway.
Set in Zero Mostel’s West 28th Street painting studio, a naive reporter attempts to interview the famously volatile actor, prompting an explosion of memory, humor, outrage and juicy backstage lore.
“Zero Hour” traces Mostel’s early days growing up on the Lower East Side as the son of Orthodox Jewish immigrant parents, through his rise as a stand-up comedian – from the Borscht Belt to Manhattan’s most exclusive supper clubs. Mostel is remembered for his comedic genius and his definitive roles, but in the 1950s he was equally known for his place on the infamous Hollywood blacklist.
Actor-writer Brochu previously stated, “Zero had a great influence on my life and I was fortunate to get to know him when I was first starting out. His life was filled with great laughter, great drama and great life lessons for all of us. He considered himself primarily an artist who took acting jobs to support his painting. I can think of no other person in show business who had more obstacles to overcome than Zero Mostel. He grew up poor. He survived the blacklist. A bus accident almost took his leg off. But he fought and survived, and then went on to win three Tony Awards.”
Performances of “Zero Hour” are scheduled Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. There will be a post-show discussion with Brochu following the 3 p.m. performance on Sunday, Oct. 7. Tickets are $30 – $35 and are available from the Union County Arts Center box office. Call 1-732- 499-8226.
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