Two unlikely strangers come together ‘Visiting Mister Green’

By Diana Saenger

“Visiting Mister Green,” the story of how an accident brings an elderly retiree and a young man together to change their lives, has been translated into 22 languages, played world wide and won many national and international awards, including Drama League (NYC), Best Play nominee. Christopher M. Williams directs the show through March 11 at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach.

Craig De Lorenzo (Ross Gardiner) and Robert Grossman (Mr. Green) play two men who learn new things about themselves in Jeff Baron’s ‘Visiting Mister Green’ at North Coast Repertory Theatre. Aaron Rumley

Williams has a history at the NCRT as an actor and co-director of several productions, including “Glorious!” and “My Name is Asher Lev.” His other credits include: Arizona Theatre Company, Phoenix Theatre, Actor’s Theatre, AZ Jewish Theatre, Southwest Shakespeare Company, New Village Arts. He is the artistic director of the newly formed Oceanside Theatre Company.

When NCRT Artistic Director David Ellenstein asked Williams to direct “Visiting Mister Green,” he agreed, though he never heard of the play.

“I did some research on it and fell in love with the story,” Williams said. “It’s simple, but has so many levels. For the characters it’s about discovery of self and how to survive.”

Ross Gardiner meets Mr. Green when he almost runs over the man and is charged with reckless driving. Gardiner receives a sentence to do community service, which includes regular visits to Mr. Green. Neither man is happy about this as the encounters open old wounds and force them to face realities.

“The play is very funny because of the characters miscommunication, but for some — as it was for me — it will be very cathartic,” Williams said. “It’s about finding your purpose and who you are and how to help others and accept help. It takes humility to allow others to help you.”

Williams found his leads in very capable hands. He worked with Robert Grossman (“Old Wicked Songs”) on several shows at NCRT and in Arizona. “Robert is an amazingly gifted actor and human being,” Williams said. “The wealth of knowledge he has is so deep intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and psychologically. That makes him so present in the role of Mr. Green. He gives it everything it requires.”

Craig De Lorenzo’s résumé includes “My Name is Asher Lev,” “Amadeus,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and more. Williams worked with De Lorenzo in “Asher Lev.”

“He’s an incredibly gifted young actor, and it’s wonderful to watch him work,” Williams said. “He’s full of a brightness, energy and vitality that allow him to approach his character from an amazingly introspective place. Both of these two actors are really from different places — much like their characters. They work so well together and have great instincts. That makes the director’s job much easier when the actors come in with all these gifts.”

Related posts:

  1. North Coast Rep offers a telling ‘The Lion in Winter’
  2. Behind the Scenes with David Ellenstein: North Coast Repertory Theatre’s 30 Season is underway
  3. LET’S REVIEW! Theater patrons won’t forget ‘My Name Is Asher Lev’ now playing at North Coast Repertory Theatre
  4. Let’s Review: Friendship is tested in ‘The Drawer Boy’ at North Coast Repertory Theatre
  5. ‘Gee’s Bend’ is both heartwarming and historically significant

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on Feb 16, 2012. Filed under A & E, Theater. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Del Mar couple to present program about Bhutan at Solana Beach Library September 1, 2014
    Join cultural anthropologist and photographer Roger Harmon and his wife, Nancy, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in the Solana Beach Library for a free presentation of their travels to Bhutan through slides and artifacts. […]
  • Carmel Valley Boy Scouts climb Mount Whitney September 1, 2014
    Several boys from Boy Scout Troop 765 (Carmel Valley) made the climb to the tallest peak in the contiguous 48 states this summer. They spent the summer hiking the tallest peaks of Southern California, preparing for their hike of Mount Whitney. These peaks included Mount Baldy, Mount San Jacinto, and Mount San Gorgonio. The boys made the 22-mile round-trip tr […]
  • Multimillion-dollar renovation complete at Hilton San Diego Del Mar September 1, 2014
    Hilton San Diego Del Mar announces the completion of its multimillion-dollar renovation. Funded by Wheelock Street Capital and Sage Hospitality, the hotel’s completed renovation includes the lobby, business center, fitness center, restaurant, meeting spaces and all 257 guest rooms. “This renovation has truly transformed the Hilton San Diego Del Mar property, […]