A TWO RIVER DOUBLE FEATURE FOR THE ‘SOUL’

Martin MoranActor, author and playwright Martin Moran brings his two autobiographical solo shows — ‘The Tricky Part’ and its followup, ‘All the Rage’ — to Two River Theater beginning this weekend in a special engagement entitled ‘A Map of the Soul.’

By TOM CHESEK

When the figurative curtain comes up on the next mainstage offering from Red Bank’s Two River Theater Company, there will be not one but two new productions commandeering the Rechnitz auditorium — both of them one-man showcases, and both of them drawn from the life experiences of their creator and star, Martin Moran.

The actor who’s entertained Broadway crowds in such merry diversions as “Monty Python’s Spamalot” garnered an Obie award and some significant critical acclaim in 2004, when he stepped in front of an Off Broadway audience with a highly personal, frankly confessional piece entitled “The Tricky Part.” Adapted from his own memoir of the same name, it seized upon an emotionally scarring experience from the author’s youth — a years-long sexual relationship with an adult counselor at a Catholic boys’ camp — recasting it as the impetus for a “journey to forgiveness” that would come to define much of Moran’s adult life.

Nearly ten years later, Moran would stand again before Off Broadway audiences (and reunite with his “Tricky Part” director, Seth Barrish) with a new piece called “All the Rage” — a spirited meditation on rage and reaction and compassion that sprang from Q&A sessions with his audiences at the earlier play.

“A Map of the Soul” is the title given to Moran’s current project at Two River, an engagement that combines 19 performances of “Tricky” with seven shows of “Rage.” Kicking off with a round of previews that begin this Saturday night, October 26, it’s a demanding schedule that finds the Denver-born Moran delivering both pieces as a double-feature theatrical experience on November 3, 10 and 17.

The Drama Desk at redbankgreen spoke to Martin Moran about hard work, long journeys, and challenging choices.

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