A Return Visit: Ed Asner feeling better, resuming 'FDR' tour with local dates

2013-04-12T00:00:00Z 2013-04-16T11:44:12Z A Return Visit: Ed Asner feeling better, resuming 'FDR' tour with local datesBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Actor Ed Asner still remembers hearing the news that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had died.

"I was a sophomore in high school," said Asner, talking by telephone this week from his home in Los Angeles.

"And it happened at a time when this man was regarded like God, the Almighty Father in regards to world leaders and our nation's respected names."

Seven-time Emmy-Award winner Asner, 83, who portrays Roosevelt in his one-man touring show "FDR," says he's "feeling much better now," following what he calls a "bump in the road" health scare last month.

Asner became ill while performing "FDR" in Miller for a charity event last month and needed to be hospitalized for exhaustion.

He canceled a string of performances around the Midwest to return home for rest, and now says he's ready to resume the tour, which will relaunch 7 p.m. Wednesday at Governors State University Center for Performing Arts in University Park, Ill.

Later this month, he'll also return to Northwest Indiana for a "make-up date" performing "FDR" for The Miller Beach Arts & Creative District, and Mas Media 7 holding true to his from-the-stage pact to the community arts charity organization and Northwest Indiana audiences when he promised: "I promise I'll be back and make this up to you."

According to Gary West Side Theatre Guild Director Mark Spencer, who helped organize the original booking to bring Asner to the region, the rescheduled performance is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 at Wirt Emerson VPA Theater Auditorium, 210 N Grand Blvd, in Gary. All tickets from the previous performance date will be honored and additional tickets are now available.

"One of the most enjoyable aspects of going back to Gary is being under the administration of Mark Spencer," Asner said.

"He's a dazzling individual and made my past trip and travel certainly bearable and delightful to have been in his company and I'm looking forward to performing 'FDR' in Gary, Ind. on April 23."

Asner, best known for his roles in TV's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," and its spinoff, "Lou Grant," plays the wartime president spanning FDR's White House years, including the Depression, the steps leading up to World War II, and the war years.

"All of the key moments of FDR's life are included, such as hearing his fireside chats and about his controversial packing of the Supreme Court," Asner said.

"It also covers his personal life with First Lady Eleanor, and gives audiences the chance to get inside this man's great mind."

He said it even includes segments detailing his "discreet but definite" affair with Lucy Mercer and the controversy surrounding the Pearl Harbor attack.

"Remember, this was a time when you could have more than two terms as a U.S. president, so we had lots of material to select from when it was created," Asner said.

"FDR" is based on the original Broadway hit "Sunrise at Campobello," the winner of four Tony Awards, by Dore Schary.

Asner is flying in to Chicago this weekend for an event with actress Marion Ross of ABC's "Happy Days" fame to do a live staged reading for a new sitcom pitch for a comedy series tentatively called "I've Got a Life in Kalamazoo."

They have performances both  7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday before a live audience at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N. State St. in Chicago. Tickets range from $22 to $155 at LifeInKzoo.com.

Produced by Fubble Entertainment, the show concept was dreamed up by Teresa Thome and Patrick Ziegler.

Actress Vicki Lewis is also joining the live stage reading to play the central character of the daughter, with her parents played by Asner and Ross.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

In This Issue