ZERO HOUR, Jim Brochu's award-winning play about the life of theatre legend Zero Mostel, will host "Survivors of the Blacklist: A Panel Discussion" on Tuesday evening, November 24th at 7 p.m. at Theatre at St. Clement's (423 West 46th Street). This very special event is free to the public (reservations strongly suggested).
Following a sneak peek of Zero Hour, performed by Jim Brochu, film historian and Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne will moderate a discussion of the notorious Blacklist among a group of distinguished guests, many of whom were actually blacklisted in the 1950s. Scheduled to appear on the panel are Lee Grant (actor, director), Jules Feiffer (playwright, cartoonist), Victor Navasky (former editor of The Nation, author of Naming Names), Christopher Trumbo (playwright, son of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo), Joe Gilford (playwright, son of MAdeline Lee and Jack Gilford), Jean Rouverol (actor, author) and Cliff Carpenter (actor).
The Honorable Jerrold Nadler, US Congressman and senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, will introduce the panel. This historic gathering of those targeted by the blacklist, either directly or by relation, will address many of the issues taken up in Zero Hour, such as who was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and why. The discussion will also focus on the numerous parallels between the communist "witch hunts" of the 1950's and today's "war on terror."
ZERO HOUR will make its Off-Broadway premiere at Theatre at St. Clement's beginning Saturday, November 14th. Produced by Kurt Peterson and Edmund Gaynes in association with The Peccadillo Theater Company, the show will have its Opening Night on Sunday, November 22nd. The limited engagement is set to run through January 31st. Three-time Academy Award nominee Piper Laurie directs ZERO HOUR, which was originally produced in Los Angeles, where it received the Ovation Award for Best New Play.
Starring Jim Brochu as Zero Mostel, ZERO HOUR is set at Mostel's West 28th Street painting studio where a naïve reporter attempts to interview the famously volatile actor, prompting an explosion of memory, humor, outrage, and juicy backstage lore. It is July 1977 and the actor is giving his final interview before leaving for the pre-Broadway tryout of The Merchant in Philadelphia. Mostel only played one performance as Shylock before his sudden death at the age of 62.
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, and from the devastation of the blacklist to his greatest Broadway triumphs, most notably as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and working through his love-hate relationship with Jerome Robbins. For more information about Zero Hour, visit www.zerohourshow.com