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April 20, 1990 - Image 71

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-04-20

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

ENTERTAINMENT

MARK FINN

Special to The Jewish News

is awards include
the Miami Critics
(-Y
.( Carbonel Award for
Best Supporting Actor for his
performance of Jaques in As
You Like It and the Detroit
Free Press Best Actor Award
for his role in the University
of Detroit's production of Or-
phans in 1988.

But Detroiter Robert
Grossman's most recent ac-
complishment was his perfor-
mance in the Attic Theater's
production of Hamlet as he
played The Ghost of Hamlet's
father, The Grave Digger and
an assortment of Courtiers et
al.
"I think Reinhart's (Direc-
tor Gordon Reinhart) done a
pretty fascinating thing with
how he has used me in this
show," Grossman said. "We
happened to be in Las Vegas
working on an industrial film
for an auto dealer when we
started to analyze the impor-
tance of Hamlet's father. I
mean, what kind of man
would appear to his son and
tell him to commit murder?
"What type of power (pro-
bably usurpative) was used
to gain power in Norway? The
story begins out of kilter
because of what this man
did!"
Grossman continued, "Gor-
don has taken that rather
negative notion and con-
nected it with each of the
characters I played.
Therefore, I continually re-
mind Hamlet of his purpose,
no matter who I am."
The Attic Theater was a
real force for Grossman's per-
manent residence in Detroit.
In 1980, The Attic received
its Equity Franchise. Lavinia
Moyer, The Attic's artistic
director, called Grossman in
New York and asked if he'd be
interested in working.
Grossman's work with The
Attic has included such pro-
ductions as The Miss
Firecracker Contest, Learn To
Fall and Knock Knock.
However, his real introduc-
tion of performance and ente-
tainment came within his
home as a child.
"My parents actually met
while they were members of
the Jewish Peoples Chorus in
Brooklyn. It was a group that
was more of a community
organization rather than a
professional troupe. In fact,
my father can be heard on an
authentic recording." Gross-
man's first exposure came
from watching both parents.
"I must say," he added, "that
my mother was the most
natural actress I'd ever seen."

Actor

c.

obert

g rossman
learned

JEWISH EVENTS

JEWISH COMNIJNI
CENTER

early in

6600 W. Map 6 "0. •
West Bloomfield, Readers
Theater, 4 p.m.
performance and 3:15,
p.m, complimenta7.

life what

career

he was

admisSion, 967-403
Spring Jewish Book Fair
and Sale, through April
24; Children's author Eve
Feldman appears 10 a..rn.
April 22, free, 661-1000,

going to

conquer.

BIRMINGHAM
l'EMPLE

12 Mile Road, Music•
Study Club's young

L
s°a1(1)iirsatsL
Larson
and duhaslt'Pist
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Icerstin Ailvi.n, 12:15 p.n4i
April 24, a4p4i§*s
557-55

CONGREGA
SHAAREY ZEDEK
Southfield, movie:

Everything . You Wanted
To KilOW About Jews in
the Movies . . . But Were
Afraid To Ask, presented
by Dr.. Mashey Bernstein,
7 p.m, April 26, free.

(.D

Aside from acting in high
school productions at
Hollywood High School in
California, Grossman began
his career as a folk singer.
"I graduated from high
school, and I went to work
singing in coffee houses. I was
a folk singer and cabaret per-
former until I was 30. That's
really how I made a living
and learned about this coun-
try."
The big event that changed
Grossman's life occurred in
1972.
"I was passing through
Detroit and I heard that a
British faculty would be
teaching American students
at the Academy of Dramatic
Arts. This news put an end to
the coffee houses and began
my acting career."
When asked about which
aspects of his work gave him-
most satisfaction, music and
acting took a back seat to
directing.
"I recently had a chance to
direct the Livonia Communi-
ty Theatre. This experience of
casting a show and sharing
what experience I have used
was tremendously satisfying,"

he said. "The sole reason that
I want to work is to continue
to learn. To me, it's a trade-off.
I'm enriched by what I don't
know."
Grossman's other stage
credits include the roles of
Fete in A Midsummer Night's

"I was the kind of
kid who didn't
stand out in a
crowd. You know,
the one at lunch
who does circles
around the
cafeteria."
Robert
Grossman

Dream at Meadow Brook (for
that production, he also wrote
the original score); the Con-
stable of France in Henry V
for the Pittsburgh Public
Theatre; Ross in Macbeth for
the New Jersey Shakespeare
Festival; and he most recent-
ly did a short act of his own,
playing guitar and singing at

The Attic for The Really Big
Show in August of 1989.
Grossman has alsopar-
ticipated in Readers Theatre
at the Jewish Community
Center and in a Jewish
Ensemble Theatre
production.
However, of all the roles
Grossman has played, the one
that shaped his future most
was a performance he gave
when a youngster.
"I was the kind of kid who
didn't stand out in a crowd.
You know, the one at lunch
time who does circles around
the cafeteria so as to not be
noticed. However, I got this
part in the school play and
had this chance to deliver this
very dramatic monologue.
When I finished, there was
this pause, and all of a sudden
this applause that literally
knocked me against the cur-
tain (behind me)."
He continued, "The very
next day, complete strangers
were coming up to me in the
cafeteria and introducing
themselves. I knew from that
point on that my life had
changed, and my career had
been chosen."

MARK RIDLEY'S
Comedy Castle,.Roya

101:1141tts
'''''

7 p.m. Apr i
April 28, 2 p,aand 7
.April 29, adMission,
661-1000; or 645-6666.



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