Planning a Valentine’s theater date based around a man undergoing prostate cancer surgery may seem like an odd way to celebrate love, but well-known actor Ed Asner’s talent turns a tragic circumstance into sidesplitting comedy as he performs Ed. Weinberger’s play, “A Man and His Prostate,” at the Avalon Theatre on February 14.
The play revolves around Weinberger’s experience in Italy when he was rushed to the hospital for emergency cancer surgery.
“It’s beautifully comedic, 90 minutes of laughter and liniment,” Asner said. “I do it as a public service to encourage men to get examined now.”
He cited statistics that show a man dies of prostate cancer every 16 minutes in the U.S.
“There’s a lot of ignorance and fear out there,” he added and calls the play the male response to “The Vagina Monologues.”
Asner said that Weinberger found the humor—and the anger—in his situation.
“Anger can be funny,” Asner said, adding that he’s a good physical candidate for the role. Though the play focuses on one man, Asner said women resonate with it.
“They’re the best laughers. They get it, and they like seeing a male being put on the spot,” he said.
He doesn’t see a great difference in appreciation between the older and the younger generations, though.
“The younger ones seem eager to bring the problem to light,” he said. “And prostate cancer survivors express pleasure and gratitude for it, though they’re not laughing as hard as others. They seem more appreciative.”
“Don’t ignore the signs or symptoms of cancer,” he said. “Take note of what’s worthwhile in the medications your doctor offers and what sorts of practices the doctor is employing on you.”
Asner, 88, has been acting since he was 19. You may remember him as crusty Lou Grant in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and the spin-off series, “Lou Grant.” He racked up over 100 televisions acting credits and earned seven Emmys. On Broadway and on tour, his depiction of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his one-man show, “FDR,” earned raves around the country. He also turned in unforgettable performances in the movies “JFK,” “Elf” and “Pacific Edge.” And who didn’t tear up at his voice-over portrayal of the contentious, cantankerous Mr. Fredricksen in the Pixar animated production of “Up”?
Don’t miss Asner’s one-night presentation of “A Man and His Prostate” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14, at the Avalon Theatre in downtown Grand Junction. Tickets are available at the Avalon box office, from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, by phone at 800-626-8497 or online at www.monumentalevents.com. Tickets start at $29.
When she isn’t writing, she teaches writing workshops and edits both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. She facilitates the Colorado West Writers’ Workshop and belongs to the Authors’ Guild. Visit her website for more information and links to her books and classes.
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