Actor Ed Asner is coming to St. Louis to perform a benefit next Sunday for New Jewish Theatre. Best known for playing the character of Lou Grant in the Mary Tyler Moore Show, this time Asner is taking on the role of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a one-man show called "FDR."
The performance is adapted from the 1958 play “Sunrise at Campobello” and takes the audience on a journey through FDR’s four-term presidency, from the Depression through World War II.
In a conversation with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh, Asner said the show will touch on familiar events for anybody familiar with FDR.
“If you know anything at all about him, I don’t think you’re going to be surprised by it. There is certainly an admission within the show of his affair with Lucy Mercer, and the fact that it endangered his family and his marriage…his admiration of Louie Howe as his advisor… I think you’ll find the people surrounding him almost if not more interesting than Roosevelt,” said Asner.
To Asner, nobody in politics today measures up to Roosevelt’s standard.
“Nobody comes close to Roosevelt,” he said. “I will be the first to say he was devious, he was a chameleon, he was a fooler, but he at least marched forward and he accepted defeat and went on to fight other battles.”
In addition to talking about his upcoming performance in St. Louis, the conversation turned to his career and the profession of acting today.
Traditionally actors didn’t get involved in causes, but today it is the norm, said Asner. Some say that the Lou Grant show was canceled due to his outspoken stand against U.S. activity in Central America.
“Well no one is going to admit to it but… there was a grand swell and CBS played it like the corporate behemoth that they are and finally edged the show off the air,” said Asner. “I had no idea what I was doing at the time, I was so naïve … but I am proud that I can show that scar.”
New Jewish Theatre Presents Ed Asner in "FDR"
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Washington University's Edison Theatre, 6465 Forsyth
For more information, call 314-442-3283 or visit the New Jewish Theatre website.