By Chuck Graham, TucsonStage.com
Bill Epstein in uniform for the game called life.
How many of us get to fulfill a life-long dream? Now you can count retired University of Arizona professor of English Bill Epstein among them. This scholar, actor and playwright is giving at least two Broadway performances of his full-length autobiographical play, “My Life in Sports.”
Now you can be a part of Epstein's adventure, as well. To prepare for his debut on Broadway, the writer/actor is giving three preview performances of “My Life in Sports” on Aug. 26-28 as a fund raiser for the fledgling APCOT Theatre, 8892 E. Tanque Verde Road.
“All of the box office income, except expenses, which are very minimal, will go to APCOT. I'm happy to have this opportunity,” said Epstein. “For me, it's like an out-of-town warm-up.”
The play is a single-hander, staged theatrically so it is more than a monologue, that was warmly received last August in two weekends of local performances at Live Theatre Workshop. Sabian Trout was the director.
It is a tale both bitter and sweet – of a boy growing up playing sports, and after intermission, of a grown man leaving one woman to find his heart's love with another. In recounting these experiences, Epstein finds great depth in the sports metaphors that play poetic roles in making sense of his life.
“My first show in New York, on Sept. 24, is already sold out,” said Epstein, adding that he has lots of friends and relatives back East. “So they gave me a second show. As long as I keep selling out, they will give me another show.”
His performances are a part of the seventh annual United Solo Festival, billed as “the world's largest solo theater festival,” running through Nov. 20 at Theatre Row, 410 W. 42ndSt., in the heart of Manhattan's theater district and Times Square.
“The festival gets thousands of applicants every year,” Epstein said. “Applying is a very elaborate process. I was among the 120 that were accepted.
“For me, this success is sufficient. All I ever wanted was to be on Broadway, and now I am, the real Broadway.”
Catch Epstein's three-performance out-of-town warm-up and fund raiser at APCOT Theatre, 8892 E. Tanque Verde Road (at the Bear Canyon Road intersection). Running time is approximately two hours.
Shows are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Aug. 26-27), 2:30 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 28). All tickets are $25. For information and reservations, call Brown Paper Tickets, 1-800-838-3006.