Jared Ross is the fresh-faced Hemingway at 19, just back from the war; Jesse Frawley is the macho Hemingway at 28; Joe Dickson is the successful but troubled Hemingway at 55, after his plane-crash injuries; Michael Hays is the tortured Hemingway at 60, battling a lifetime collection of demons.
Frederic Hunter’s book is a script for a television production back in the 70’s. The author graciously gave permission to produce the show for the first time live, onstage, royalty-free. Noted Director Bob Robinson was fascinated by the script/concept and the challenges of bringing it to the stage. The production is at the same time realistic (lovely Spanish café setting (Leroy Cupp) complete with bubbling fountain) and surrealistic, as the magic-of-theatre time-travel brings the Hemingways together to confront and confound each other.
NOTE: There is a brief Hemingway history in the program, and a VERY HELPFUL and more detailed TIMELINE of his life on a series of POSTER BOARDS near the bathrooms in the Riverwalk lobby. Another reason to arrive early (other than to get a good parking space) is to peruse this real-time history of Hemingway — then imagine it folded up into itself and infused with emotion. That’s what you’ll see onstage.
Also be sure to read Bob’s thoughtful Director’s Note encompassing the many fascinating contradictions that were Hemingway, and encouraging the audience to use this play as a springboard to examine our own lives.
Mike Hughes wrote a major Michigan-related Hemingway article in today’s (Thursday’s) State Journal, if you want even more background to prepare your for the Riverwalk Hemingway experience.
The Hemingway Play continues through January 22 - BARGAIN THURSDAYS, 7 pm $8/$10