Richard and I saw *Zero Hour* off Broadway on 6/8/17. It's a one-man play about Zero Mostel, written by and starring Jim Brochu, directed by the great Piper Laurie (who knew she was a director?). It was an amusing and touching little piece, dealing heavily with the blacklist and the Red Scare.
The show was at the St. Clement's Theater, a cute little theater on the west edge of the Theatre District. We got in, sat down, and I said to Richard, "See how clever they are? Every one-person show needs multiple places for that person to sit down." This show had an armchair on the left (where Mostel often talked about his parents), a chair at a desk on the right (where he often talked about the blacklist), and a stool in the middle, at a tall table (where he talked about everything else). I've been talking for 15 years about writing a one-woman opera about the Duchess of Windsor, and apart from a few themes, a bare-bones sketch of her central aria ("David, David, do not give up the throne"), the only thing I've decided on is the setting! A frosty, elegant room (in Wallis blue) with a chaise lounge on the right, an armchair on the left, and a window seat in the middle. And a huge floral arrangement, preferably a knock-off of the opulent flowers Constance Fry did for the Duke and Duchess's wedding.
Enough about that, on to the play. We're glad we saw it, it was funny and dramatic and taught us a lot more about Zero Mostel than we had known before. Brochu did a great job putting across the brio of Mostel, and also the understandable anger and resentment under the surface. It looks like the whole play is on youtube, check it out if you're interested.
Mostel told many jokes in the show. This was my favorite:
A rabbi walks into a bar with a parrot on his shoulder. The bartender says, "Where the hell did you get that?" The parrot says, "They're all over Brooklyn!"