Zero is a PLUS in the math of
playwright/ actor Jim Brochu. He is brilliant
and Zero Mostel to a tee. In ZERO HOUR,
with eyes circling like saucers, girth covered
in a light blue smock, paintbrush swirling, his
larger than life theatrical icon Zero Mostel
He paints with words while
painting; coloring Mostel’s wit and truth that
never misses a trick. Set in a 1977, NYC Artist
Studio on West 28th Street (before
leaving to do his last play Arnold Wesker’s
THE MERCHANT in Philadelphia,) Zero
is interviewed by a New York Times reporter.
Result: It’s a match being struck and our
laughter and memory ignite.
When asked to do Eugene Ionesco’s
breakthrough, absurdist play RHINOCEROUS,
Brochu/ Zero two- slaps the right foot, snorts
fire from within, animal eyes pierce and we’re
at the Longacre theatre, years ago, seeing Z.
morphed from man to rhinoceros without changing
makeup or costume. Which is real?
Three time Oscar nominee Piper
Laurie knows and directs in a masterful way. For
how often in the theatre when a note is played
do you in the audience fill in its chord?
Jerry Tallmer of the New York
Post said during Jim Brochu run in
the musical UNFAIR TO GOLIATH by Ephraim
Kishon (Israel’s Art Buchwald) at the Cherry
Lane Theatre, “If they ever do The Zero Mostel
story, Jim Brochu is my choice for the lead.” A
critic got it right.
Theatre began in a church and
continues at St. Clements. There, ZERO HOUR
arrives with a trunk full of awards and sold
out, extended audiences in Los Angeles, Florida
and Washington D.C.
Mostel used to say, ‘I’ve done 25 Broadway
shows, 50 films, and 10,000 paintings – and the
only thing I’m going to be remembered
for is the film THE
Dan Wackerman, artistic director
and Kevin Kennedy, managing director of The
Peccadillo Theatre, now uptown after 15 years of
stellar work, aligned with producers Kurt
Peterson and Edmund Gaines in presenting the
piece. Steve Schalchlin is artistic associate.
All celebrate the opening night
party at Sardi’s second floor, (a favorite of
Zero’s) with Theodore Bikel, Marge Champion,
Patricia Elliott, Vicar of St Clements’s Rev.
Mitties De Champlain, David Staller, Julie
Peterson, Piper Laurie etc. Jim Brochu enters to
a Sardi’s standing applause. “Something I always
dreamt of,” he said.
His artistry gives us laughter. I
remember this timely quote, but not its author:
is that which most efficiently recognizes that
we are living in an imperfect world, with
imperfect arguments and things that are insane,
illogical, and irrational. And the only way we
can live with that fact is to laugh."