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Death of Asner deals blow to Playhouse

The Flat Rock Playhouse suffered another blow on Sunday with the death of Ed Asner, the award-winning "Lou Grant" actor who was scheduled to perform four soldout shows on the theater's stage this weekend.

Asner won five of his seven Emmy Awards for playing Grant, three as best supporting actor in a comedy series for "Mary Tyler Moore" and two for lead actor in a drama for "Lou Grant." He also won Emmys for his roles in the 1976 mini-series "Rich Man, Poor Man" and the 1977 miniseries "Roots." He died Sunday morning at his home in California at age 91.

Asner was set to appear with the veteran M*A*S*H actor Jamie Farr in "Two Jews Talking." The show would have been a financial boost for the theater, which has been unable to stage a regular show on the Rock since the emergency shutdown order of March 2020.

“We have to cancel,” Lisa K. Bryant, the Playhouse's creative artist director, told the Lightning. “We’re putting all our language together to put out to the public. They will have the option to get a refund, they can choose a gift card or if they would like to they can just donate their ticket to the Playhouse. We would be very grateful if that’s what they wanted to do to support the Playhouse as we remain closed. But there is no problem if they want a refund. They will have a 100 percent full refund. Obviously, a donation back would be appreciated and we would be grateful.”
Bryant had no indication that Asner was ill until she got word of his death.
“They were in rehearsal in L.A. all last week and as far as we knew all systems were go,” she said. The Playhouse had arranged lodging and prepared the lights and sound for the two-man show. “Obviously he was 91 years old but there were no tells that he was ill or that there was anything amiss.”
She had met Asner and his daughter, who was his manager as well, back in 2017 when he brought his one-man show to the Playhouse.
“I’m relieved and grateful that he passed way at home with his family with him,” Bryant said.