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Society News  Pages 1  2  3

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Black Tie International:
Zero Hour

                   ZERO HOUR                     

Photos & Story by: Fiddle Viracola

Mrs. Theodore Bikel, Jim Brochu and Theodore Bikel

Mrs. Theodore Bikel, Jim Brochu and Theodore Bikel


Piper Laurie

Piper Laurie


Dan Wackerman, Jim Brochu and Kevin Kennedy

Dan Wackerman, Jim Brochu and Kevin Kennedy


Marge Champion

Marge Champion


Kurt and Julie Peterson

Kurt and Julie Peterson


Jim Brochu and Fiddle Viracola

Jim Brochu and Fiddle Viracola



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 lives.


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


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:


"Humor 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."


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