More time for ‘Zero Hour’
BY JERRY TALLMER
Jim Brochu remembers the sentence, word for word — though the journalist who wrote it does not. Or did not.
“ ‘If they ever do the Zero Mostel story, Jim Brochu is my choice for the part.’ — That,” the performer/playwright informs the journalist, “is from a January 1970 review by you of a show at the Cherry Lane called ‘Unfair to Goliath.’ My first acting job in New York.
“Well, that was 40 years ago, and here we are,” says Brochu, whose “Zero Hour” — a solo re-creation of the titanic life and times of actor/painter Samuel Joel “Zero” Mostel (1915-1977) — has now, with a Drama Desk Award under its considerable belt, gone on from 170 performances at two prior Off-Broadway venues to a further stand at the Actors Temple Theatre. That’s the place where once, says Brochu, Jack Benny, Sophie Tucker, Eddie Cantor “and two of The Three Stooges” worshipped.
The core of this magnetic show is in Mostel’s contempt for the witch hunters, blacklisters, HUACs, and name-naming squealers of this world. With words like “un-American” now once again being flung around by new witch hunters, it is more relevant than ever. At the Actors Temple Theatre (339 West 47th St.). For tickets, call 212-239-6200. Visit www.zerohourshow.com and www.jimbrochu.com.