100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

April 22, 1988 - Image 69

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ENTERTAINMENT

GOING PLACES I

WEEK OF April 22-28

COMEDY

.

HOLLY HOTEL
110 Battle Alley, Holly. Michael
Blackman, Chris Jakeway, Jef
Brannan, today and Saturday,
Kirk Nowland, Tony Hayes,
Thursday through April 30,
admission. 634-1891.
DUFFY'S ON THE LAKE
3133 Cooley Lake Rd., Union
Lake, Bob Posch and John
Cionca, now through April, 9:30
and 11:30 p.m. Fridays and
Saturdays, admission,
reservations, 363-9469.
COMEDY CASTLE
2593 Woodward, Berkley, Bill
Kirchenbauer, today and
Saturday, Glenn Hirsch, Tuesday
through April 30, admission.
542-9900.
COMEDY CASTLE AT
PUZZLES
29900 Van Dyke, Warren, Jimmy
Aleck, today and Saturday, Tim
Allen, Tuesday through April 30,
admission.

Jim Burnstein, left, and
Stephen Rothman work on
some of the details of their
play starring Howie Buten,
below.

SPECIAL EVENTS

A new play at the Attic Theater focuses
on a Detroit performer who took his
acting talents beyond the stage

VICTORIA BELYEU DIAZ

Special to The Jewish News

ften, plays that come to
Detroit have a flavor of
New York, originate in
New York, are based in
New York. However, a
new production coming next week in
the Attic Theater reads Detroit
through and through. It's writer is a
Detroiter, it stars a former Detroiter
and is based on his life here.
Learn to Fall, native Detroiter
Jim Burnstein's dramatic new play at
the Attic Theater, opens Wednesday.
Set in Detroit, and based on the
real-life experiences of another Howie
Buten (known to many Detroiters as
"Buffo," the clown), the play focuses,
on a period in Buten's life in the ear-
ly 1970's when, his career at a stand-
still, he volunteered to work • at a
center for autistic children. There, he
came to know a boy named Adam, and
his work and life were never quite the
same again.
Though the play recently receiv-
ed a highly-lauded reading at the

0

Pasadena Playhouse, this spring's run
at the Attic (April 27-May 22) will
represent the first full-staged produc-
tion of Learn to Fall. Stephen
Rothman, producing director at the
Pasadena Playhouse, is in Detroit to
direct the show.
The 36-year-old Burnstein's crea-
tion started out in 1982 as a
screenplay optioned by Rastar-
Columbia Pictures Television, and set
to star Timothy Hutton, but was
never produced. Eventually, Burn-
stein was encouraged by Rothman to
adapt the play for the stage.
"A mutual acquaintance of ours
showed me the basis of the idea that
Jim had put together, and asked me
if I thought it was something that
would work as a play," says Rothman,
who also acts as a guest director in
regional theaters across the country.
"I looked at it, and definitely thought
it had potential. It was something
based on a true story, which is always
intriguing. And a child actor playing
an autistic onstage — I thought that
could be an amazing thing.
"So, the mutual acquaintance in-

troduced us, and we started working
on it. Jim would come up with the
words, then I'd look at his words as a
(stage) director, and suggest what
would work on the stage, and what
wouldn't. After about a year of this,
we decided we had reached a point
where we had to see if the words real-
ly worked. That's when we staged the
reading at the Playhouse.
"It turned out to be one of the hot-
test staged readings I'd ever seen.
Howie Buten came in from Paris, and
we did something I'd never done
before in a reading — I had two peo-
ple play the same role. Ron Palillo,
from TV's Welcome Back, Kotter,
played Howie in all of the straight act-
ing scenes, then Howie stepped into
the role as Buffo. We especially
wanted to see if the clown act combin-
ed well with the rest of the play."
The answer, Rothamn says, was "a
resounding yes."
"I always thought my idea had
potential," says Burnstein, who
studied playwriting at the Universi-
ty of Michigan. "But I wasn't really
sure I could write for the stage. I'd

JEWISH WELFARE
FEDERATION
Neighborhood Project Kosher
Food and Judaica Craft Fair,
Oak Park Jewish Community
Center, Sunday, 967-1112.
ART FOR THE HOMELESS
Rescue Mission, Detroit,
Wednesday, admission. 540-7557.
AMERICAN HEART
ASSOCIATION
Dance for the heart, U-M
Dearborn Fieldhouse, Sunday.
557-9500.

THEATER

ATTIC THEATER
Attic Theater Playhouse, 7339
Third Avenue, Detroit, beginning
and intermediate acting classes,
beginning Monday. 875-8285.
WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY
Hilberry Theater, Nicholas
Nickleby, today and Saturday,
April 28-30, May 4-7, May 11-14,
admission, 577-2972.
MEADOW BROOK THEATER
Oakland University campus,
Rochester, Harvey,$$LF now
through May 12, admission,
377-3300.
DETROIT REPERTORY
THEATER
13103 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit,
The Colored Museum, Mornings
at Seven, now through May 8,
admission, 868-1347.

Continued on Page 71

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

69

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan