It’s been six years since Brad Zimmerman has picked up a ratty dishcloth or taken an order from a customer — well, except for his one-man-show where he re-enacts it all.
Born in Bergen County, N.J., Brad Zimmerman started out in a rather large Jewish population. He is proud of his roots and says that it was “a great place to grow up,” according to an interview with Jweekly.com. In the same interview, Brad says that he and his family followed the Jewish traditions, and that after going through it all, “I [Brad] loves being a Jew.”
Aside from being a proud Jewish young man, Brad was also a very talented athlete throughout his middle school and high school careers. In college, however, he took a turn in the opposite direction when he discovered his love of acting. After graduating, he moved to New York City to chase after this new dream, to which he could only hope would one day become reality.
Little did he know, he had many hard times waiting for him before he would make it big.
Through the repetition of every order taken, every rude customer, and every flick of the wrist as the international sign for “Check, please,” Brad Zimmerman has found some comic relief to it all. He is able to do something that many of us are unable to do — make fun of the long and difficult times that he has been through to get to where he is now.
Brad started his acting career as a waiter, as so many had done before him. On top of memorizing lines for auditions, he was memorizing the daily specials for each night that he was waiting tables.
When Brad realized the intimidatingly long times ahead of him in order to break into Broadway, he stepped back and decided to take a new route — stand up. In the early 1990′s Brad began to work hard at perfecting the craft of stand up comedy, and eventually started landing great jobs, including his role as the opening act for Joan Rivers and the late George Carlin. In addition to this, Brad Zimmerman was finally becoming a regular at New York comedy clubs, and people would file in to see his well-known and hilarious acts.
Everything came full circle when Brad landed an acting role in one of the best shows of all time, “The Sopranos.” In addition to this, he also received roles in soap operas such as “Loving” and “All My Children.” His ultimate dream was finally becoming reality, and to top it off he had achieved a second dream along the way that he had never initially intended.
Just like any true actor, however, Brad Zimmerman could not diverge from his theatrical roots any longer. In his one man show, “My Son, The Waiter; A Jewish Tragedy,” Brad is able to show off how he can combine his comedic and acting skills beautifully into one show that will not only entertain, but will also touch the heart of anyone who knows what it is like to have a dream.
Through every awful experience at the restaurant, to the endless conversations with his disappointed mother, the audience watches Brad with his extraordinarily clever and lighthearted sense of humor as he re-lives some of the worst times he has seen in his life thus far.
According to Jweekly.com, Brad Zimmerman’s favorite quote that got him through these tough times, was, “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken,” said by Oscar Wilde. Brad went on to say, “That’s what I do. I’m just being me.”
If it weren’t for the dozens of volunteers at The Kate, the show just would not go on. Since September 2009 when the cultural arts center opened in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, the crowd of folks helping out has been amazing and they deserved, and deserve some recognition. The Guild recognition ceremony will of course now be an annual event to be able to give those pats on the back that are so deserved. A big shout out to Kate Trustee, Pauline Kezer who so long ago got the Guild rolling.
At this year’s event there were some individuals honored that went above and beyond. Mind you these are all folks just volunteering but are making such a difference. You will never go to The Kate and not see some of the individuals guiding you to your seat, answering questions, giving tours, stuffing envelopes, I could go on and on and on.
Among the honorees, was Pat Schneider. Pat started the Boutique at The Kate, a wonderful alcove where you can purchase wonderful things concerning the theater and the iconic actress for which it is named, Katharine Hepburn. But thing sweren’t always so pretty, Pat first started selling items five years ago out of a storage room at the Town Hall before the theater opened. Initially there were t-shirts and hats. I remember buying a Kate sweatshirt in the early days out of her trunk. Boy have we grown since then. Pat takes such pride in her work and it shows. Also thanks to her wonderful volunteers who spend so many hours helping her. Three stand outs helping Pat were recognized as Patsy Flanagan, Corrine Ingellis and Maureen Prior.
In the category of Theater Volunteer which included time spent, parking cars, house managing, ushering, greeting and mailings, the three who worked the most hours were Bev Musgrove, Edie Riggio and Gerhard Krauland.
The big honor, Volunteer of the Year went to Sueing. She never stops and we joke she has a cot at the theater. She was, and is, willing to work every show.
Sueing is always smiling and is a joy to be around. Congrats, Sueing for being The Kate’s first ever Volunteer of the Year!
Actress Katharine Hepburn was given quite a birthday gift today, her own 44 cent U.S. Postal Stamp. Hepburn would have been 103 years old today.
The photo used on the stamp is from a publicity shot taken for her 1942 film, “Woman of The Year.”
The late 4-time Academy Award winning actress would have been 103 years old today.
The red-haired beauty became the 16th star to be honored in the U.S. Postal Service’s Legends of Hollywood stamp series.
The ceremony took place in her theater, the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
By my estimate, there were about 300 people in attendance.
On stage marking the occasion was emcee, actor, and Connecticut resident, Sam Waterston. Waterson was in a movie with Hepburn in her later life called “The Glass Menagerie.”
Waterston told me he loved working with her and that she took the responsibility of feeding the cast and crew while they were on location.
He also told me that while shooting the movie Hepburn said to him “you’re clock isn’t ticking.” She told him when your clock isn’t ticking you’re not full out in the acting mode, but when it is, you give the audience all you’ve got. Hepburn was always one to try to make people better, to push them to their limits, that wasn’t lost on Waterston.
Also on stage, British film director, Anthony Harvey. Harvey made four pictures with Hepburn including “The Glass Menagerie” and “Lion In Winter.” Harvey told me what a character Hepburn was, but that he had the time of his life with her over a 20-year friendship.
The Kate’s Executive Director, Chuck Still started out the ceremony welcoming the residents of Old Saybrook and thanking them for all of their ongoing support of the theater and how Hepburn loved the town of which she thought of as her paradise.
Hepburn’s long time cook, Nora Considine was also in attendance with her daughters and grand daughter. We talked about all the fun she had cooking for Kate in New York City and in Fenwick.
Hepburn’s brother-in-law, former West Hartford Mayor, Ellsworth Grant watched from the front row as his late famous sister-in-law got her due. Grant told me it was a wonderful event and that “Katy” would have loved it.
Members of the Old Saybrook Police Department got into the act as well, standing guard at the venue and also having their picture taken with Waterston, one of the stars of the TV show “Law and Order.”
This was a great day for The Kate, really put the theater on the map today, and the first of her stamps were sold and hand canceled right at the theater.