Thursday, October 17, 2019
‘I’m Not Rappaport’ Thrives on Rapport Between Two Octogenarians
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Gary Hoffman stars as a feisty Jewish socialist and George Lima, his half-blind benchmate.
 
Monday, June 24, 2019
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Nat Moyer is an 81-year-old curmudgeon, so bored with his life that he invents a host of identities, presenting himself one day as a mobster and another as a lawyer pontificating on how to save his friend’s job.

His sidekick is another octogenarian named Midge Carter, a cantankerous African-American hiding out   from the tenants in the apartment building where he spends his days tending an aging boiler.

Both men are angry and hurt. Nat is quick to list his grievances, even as he weaves elaborate tales of government conspiracy. And Midge must ward off the threat of being declared legally incompetent.

The men’s stage is a bench in New York’s Central Park where they air grievances, dispense advice and give each other a bad time.

And that stage will be set this coming weekend at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden south of Ketchum as the Royal Larkspur Players present “I’m Not Rappaport.”

The play reading, under the direction of Larkspur Founder Gary Hoffman, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 28-29, at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden.

Admission is free but donations will go to three nonprofits: The Sawtooth Botanical Garden, The Senior Connection and NAMI-WRV.

Since the play takes place in New York’s Central Park, the Botanical Garden stands in perfectly, said Hoffman, who is suggesting a donation of $15 per person.

“A staged reading, yes, but mics on the actors, music, lighting, costumes and props. Plenty of room for folks to bring lawn chairs and even picnic food,” he added.

Herb Gardner’s “I’m Not Rappaport” won the 1985 Tony for Best Play, running 891 performances on Broadway. It also won a Tony for Best Actor for Judd Hirsch for his role as the aging Jewish socialist.

It made its debut at the Seattle Repertory Theatre in 1984.

Gardner was inspired by two elderly men he met in Central Park. He chose the title from an old vaudeville joke when one man continuously greets another with the name “Rappaport,” only to have the other man repeatedly deny that he is Rappaport.

The 1996 film version starred Walter Matthau, Ossie Davis, Army Irving and Craig T. Nelson.

Hoffman will star as Nat Moyer in this version with George Lima, of Atlanta, Ga., his sidekick. Cam Cooper, Dawson Howard, Sean Sheehan, Jessica Timmons and Lynn Pattnosh will round out the play.

The play deals with a variety of issues, including society’s treatment of the elderly and the difficulties of dealing with adult children who are convinced they know what’s best for their parents.

 It also provides insights into aging. Just take it from Nat:

“Old people, they know something. They didn’t just stay late to ruin your party.”


 

 

 

 

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