The Voice Goes On: Jim Brochu as Zero Mostel

For Brochu, whose résumé in multiple mediums is mind-boggling–actor, playwright, director, book author, agent, producer–a lifetime of acclaimed accomplishments doesn’t mean he can now relax. He’s currently embarking on what he admits is the biggest acting challenge of his life: He wrote and performs in /Zero Hour/, a two-hour solo play charting the glorious yet tumultuous life of an actor considered by many to be among the greatest of the 20th century, Zero Mostel (1915–1977). Filling the larger-than-life shoes of an eccentric, tortured, brilliant creative giant–who gained fame starring in the musicals /Fiddler on the Roof/ and /A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum/ and Mel Brooks’ 1968 film classic /The Producers/–is a gargantuan task.


Over the years, Brochu has initiated countless projects and driven them to fruition. “You can’t sit around waiting for the phone to ring,” he remarks. “Because it won’t. I am always telling actors and would-be screenwriters and playwrights to get out there and do it for themselves. When I wrote /The Last Session with Steve/ [inspired by Schalchlin’s emotional and physical triumph over AIDS], I didn’t write a part for myself as an actor. I had stepped away from acting about 20 years earlier, thinking maybe I’d be happier on the other side–directing, producing, and writing–and then found out I really wasn’t. I live on a stage, love being on a stage, so instead of waiting around for Tennessee Williams to write something for me, especially now that he’s dead, if God has given me the talent to write something for myself, then I better well do it. It’s kind of like that old adage: If you build it, they will come. If you write it, it will get produced.”

“Zero Hour,” presented by West Coast Jewish Theatre, continues Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 & 7 p.m. through Aug. 13 at the Egyptian Arena Theatre, 1625 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood. (323) 595-4849.

Read the whole article: The Voice Goes On
by Les Spindle in Back Stage ~ August 07, 2006


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