Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Zemfira Stage Zero Hour

By • Jul 9th, 2010 • Category: Reviews
Zero Hour, by Jim Brochu
Zemfira Stage
The Lyceum, Alexandria, VA
Through July 17th
1:40 with one intermission
$15/$10 Students, Seniors, Military
Reviewed July 9, 2010

Zero Hour is a one man play that highlights the ups and downs of Samuel Joel “Zero” Mostel better known as “Zero Mostel. From his two rocky marriages, his blacklisting in 1955, to his rise to Broadway in Forum, Fiddler on The Roof, and The Producers and later tv and movie roles, and his escape into the world of his paintings.

Told from the point of view of an invisible NY Times reporter coming to interview Mostel, Jim Mitchell portrays Zero Mostel with strong emotion and and a passion to get the true story told. You could see and feel the despair in his mood when he told about his family disowning him when he announced he wanted to be an actor and brought home a non-Jewish woman to marry. He played his character with strength, but also tenderness. His recollection of his friend who was also blacklisted and later jumped off the building to his death was told with a lot of strong emotion and Mitchell pulled up a lot of sadness to end the first act.

Since Zero Mostel was also a comedian, Mitchell also was able to bring out quite a bit of humor. His mood changed again to a much more lighthearted and laid back telling of his bus accident that crushed his leg. When he was saying something funny his speech was slower and maybe a bit more uneven than when he became angry. Then his speech became faster and louder. Always Mitchell got his point across.

Zero Hour ran one hour and forty minutes with one intermission. It is playing through July 17, Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM at the Lyceum in Old town Alexandria. A fascinating look at a dark time in American history played by a talented actor.

Photo Gallery

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Photos provided by Zemfira Stage


  • Zero Mostel: James E. Mitchell III


  • Producer/Director: Zina T. Bleck
  • Sound Design: Becky Farris
  • Lighting Design: Zina Bleck
  • Original Painting: Mary Hrabe
  • Technical Staff: Katherine Bisulca, Becky Farris, Lynn Lacey
  • Front of House/Box Office: Erin DeCaprio, Erin Gallalee, Margaret Snow
  • Publicity: Harry Kantrovich

Disclaimer: Zemfira Stage provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005. Laura has performed in local productions and worked back stage. She will be stage managing The Taming of the Shrew, to be performed by Castaways Repertory Theatre in January 2012. She earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Laura is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association.

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