Mitch Albom’s play “Ernie” is now running its fourth summer at the City Theatre in Detroit.
Peter Carey was the understudy for Will Young for two years and took the stage in 2011 as Ernie Harwell, the Detroit Tigers sportscaster.
This is Carey’s first time performing as Ernie in the play.
The only other person on stage with him is T.J. Corbett, playing a young fan. Both actors joined Stateside today to talk about their experience telling the story of Ernie’s final bow at Comerica Park in 2009.
“It means a lot to a lot of people,” Corbett said. “They just keep coming back, sometimes more than once in a season.”
“They love the feeling, the energy that Ernie is and was,” Carey said.
Carey worked with Ernie in TV, radio, and film, including a Disney movie called “Tiger Town.”
They did commercials and live events together and hosted the Grosse Pointe Action Auction. A few months before Ernie passed, they hosted a live radio show in Ann Arbor at Zingerman’s Roadhouse.
“When you were with Ernie, you were his best friend. You were the most important person in that room because he made you feel that way, and you got his full attention,” Carey said.
Ernie Harwell died at the age of 92 in the spring of 2010 from cancer. He broadcasted for the Tigers for 42 years.
T.J. Corbett sets up the frame of the play.
“He’s about to leave when seemingly out of nowhere this kid dressed in 1930s clothing shows up and says, I want to hear your broadcast,’” Corbett said. “And Ernie says ‘I don’t broadcast games anymore,’ so the kid says, ‘well I want to hear the broadcast of your life.’ So Ernie tells the kid the nine innings of his life.”
Mitch Albom's "Ernie" runs now through August 17 at the City Theatre inside the Hockeytown Cafe in Detroit. You can get ticket information through OlympiaEntertainment.com or Ticketmaster.
To learn more about the cast and crew click here.
*Listen to full interview above.
-Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michigan Radio Newsroom