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Ed Asner set to perform at FRP


The annual variety show “revue,” FRP’s main benefit event, is Monday, Aug. 14 at 8:15 p.m. Many “favorite Vagabond” actors sing and act scenes from “our most notable shows,” FRP spokesman Dane Whitlock stated. The theme Around The Stage in 80 Years marks the 80th anniversary of when FRP founder Robroy Farquhar started the Vagabond Players in New York City.

A tented dinner on FRP grounds is 6:30-8 p.m., with cocktails 6-7 p.m. Ticket prices vary from $50 for those younger than 40, to $100 for a reserved seat and open dinner seating, to $125 per person for a VIP show seat and reserved dinner seating. Food stations are by various local restaurants. Items will be displayed for silent and live auctions.

Asner’s 90-minute play is entitled A Man and His Prostate, and starts 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19. Its writer, Ed. Weinberger, is known for far more than going by the distinctive “Ed.” in his first name. He is the famed writer of The Mary Tyler Moore (MTM) Show, on which Asner was Lou Grant.

The play is based on Weinberger’s actual experience while vacationing in Italy. He was rushed to a hospital, for emergency prostate cancer surgery. This play has earned “hilarious” and other praise from critics. Tickets are each $35.

Asner’s appearance extends a FRP tradition to periodically bring in a famed veteran actor. Burt Reynolds also did a one-person show in FRP, a quarter-century ago in 1991.

Yitzhak Edward Asner, 87, played rumbling-voiced Lou Grant on the Mary Tyler Moore (MTM) Show in 1970-77 then his own show entitled Lou Grant for five more years. He was MTM/Mary Richard’s grumpy boss with a soft spot for “Mare.”

Moore died Jan. 25, at age 80. “A great lady I loved and owe so much to has left us,” Asner tweeted then. “I will miss her. I will never be able to repay her, for the blessings that she gave me.”

The stocky 5-foot-7 Asner won seven lead actor Emmy Awards and was nominated 16 times. He took home five Golden Globe Awards, and the ScreenActors Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In films, he did the voice of Carl Frederickson in the Oscar-winning Pixar film entitled Up in 2009.

Meanwhile, FRP’s Playhouse Downtown (PD) has Motown Summer Nights songs Aug. 3-13, then a one-person show of its won with a musical tribute to the late Rosemary Clooney Aug. 31-Sept. 3. Everything is Rosie features Wendy Jones, who recently starred in Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Tickets are each $30.

Clooney (1928-2002), mother of actor George Clooney, was a pop star in the Fifties and came back as a jazz singer in the Nineties. Jones, who has a powerful voice befitting Clooney’s vocals, sings songs by such composers as George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington. Her long FRP career includes performing and instructing youths.

Music on the Rock concludes with The Music of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross Sept. 28-Oct. 8, then The Women of Woodstock Oct. 26-Nov. 4.

To buy tickets, go to the main or downtown box offices, call 693-0731, or go to then check the purchase drop-down menu for various shows.

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