"A Man and His Prostate:" The Play
This may be one of the first theater reviews for ProstateCancer.net, so here’s the news: Ed Asner stars in a one-man show called "A Man and His Prostate," and you should see it. At 91 years of age, Ed Asner took on the challenge of performing a play written by a longtime friend, “Ed” Weinberger.
It’s a show about how Weinberger dealt with a diagnosis of prostate cancer, and Ed Asner gives an unforgettable interpretation. You may not have seen him in a hospital gown since the “Operation Lou” episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," but the man has style no matter what the wardrobe is. In "A Man and His Prostate," Asner informs, entertains, and inspires.
A rollercoaster of emotions and fun
Asner – famous for portraying tough-as-nails, no-nonsense, classic men’s roles – gives the audience a look at what prostate conditions are like from a man’s perspective. Face it, men don’t like talking about this stuff. We will talk about sports, blood, sweat, and gristle. We’ll talk about anything else than what happens when our favorite organ starts to let us down.
In this play, the language is frank, the visual aids are anatomically correct, and the story is real. It shows the value of therapeutic humor in dealing with bad news and hard choices. But Asner, deftly interpreting Weinberger’s script, makes us laugh at the situation, not the patient. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, insight, and flat-out fun.
Looking to my hometown
You can see the show across the country and virtually. One of these performances originated from the Alban Arts Center in my hometown of St. Albans, W.V.
As a prostate cancer patient and an advocate for ProstateCancer.net, I asked Adam Bryan (manager of the Alban) and Liza Asner (Asner’s manager) for an interview. He graciously agreed, and delivered an education in theater, film history, and how to manage a rookie interviewer. It was a blast. I asked Asner why a community theater in a town of 10,000 was chosen as the site for a live broadcast.
“Because I’ll perform anywhere that’ll have me!” he roared. He had a good experience with "God Help Us," a show he did at the Alban in 2019, and was glad to return where he earned a standing ovation.
A face and voice for men with prostate issues
I also suspect, given his reputation for advocacy and equal opportunity, he was pleased to lend a hand to a smaller venue. His career started in a storefront theater in Chicago, after all. Asner pursues projects which allow him to bring a humorous light to serious issues. "God Help Us" explores the current political divide (also worth seeing).
Why did a man who has played God, Santa Claus, and FDR choose to play a man with a prostate condition? Because his friend asked him to. He was happy to be the face and voice of all men with prostate problems. You know what? We should be honored.
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