Gallery 7 Theatre presents Tuesdays with Morrie

Ken Hildebrandt

Ken Hildebrandt

Kerrie-Ann SCHOENIT

Abbotsford News

Gallery 7 Theatre and Performing Arts explores the meaning of life in its new production Tuesdays With Morrie.

Based on true events, the play celebrates the power of friendship and the life lessons an ambitious sports columnist learns from his mentor.

“It’s a heartwarming story filled with hope,” said artistic director Ken Hildebrandt. “Despite the negativity that life can deal us, we always have a choice about what we want to do with it. We can choose to let it control us or choose another path.”

Young journalist Mitch Albom stumbles across a TV program late one night featuring his old college professor, Morrie Schwartz, who is now suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Albom decides to visit the elderly man, and what starts out as a simple reunion turns into an advanced course on life. Weekly conversations centre around themes of love, money, values, acceptance and death.

“I think in this day and age when we’re so focused on material wealth and material gain, being challenged to think about the spiritual, emotional and intellectual side of things is important,” said Hildebrandt. “The play will span the broad spectrum of emotions and make it a really inspiring theatre experience.”

Tuesdays With Morrie is based on the bestselling memoir by Albom, which was written to help pay Schwartz’s medical bills. The book stayed at the top of the New York Times bestseller list for more than 200 weeks and has since been translated into 41 languages.

Chilliwack resident Glen Pinchin takes on the role of Schwartz. Pinchin has appeared in several plays throughout the Lower Mainland, including Schoolhouse at the University of the Fraser Valley, The Diary of Anne Frank at Gallery 7 Theatre, and You Can’t Take it With You and You Still Can’t with Vancouver’s Pacific Theatre.

Hildebrandt joins Pinchin on stage as Albom. He starred in the Gallery 7 productions Chickens, Cotton Patch Gospel, Beau Jest and Macbeth. He also has an extensive resume as a director, producer and lighting designer. 

Carissa Boynton makes her directorial return in Tuesdays With Morrie.

The show runs Jan. 21, 22, 27-29, and Feb. 3-5 at 7:30 p.m., with additional discounted matinees on Jan. 22 and 29 at 2 p.m.

Performances are at MEI auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Rd.

Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, and $9 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at the House of James in Abbotsford, 604-852-3701.