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Jeff Daniels' 'The Meaning of Almost Everything' Premieres at Purple Rose Theatre

The new comedy will enjoy a nine-week engagement through March 9 at the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea.

A new play by Hollywood actor Jeff Daniels will premiere at the Purple Rose Theatre (PRTC) in Chelsea beginning Jan. 10, 2013.

The world premiere of The Meaning of Almost Everything will enjoy a nine-week engagement through March 9.

The 15th play penned by PRTC founder Jeff Daniels, The Meaning of Almost Everything is one of Daniels’ most personal, and yet, most whimsical shows to date. With elements of slapstick, vaudeville, tragedy and farce, this exuberant romp of a play explores the pain and the joy of human existence.

The story follows two men, “A” and “B,” who exist in an undefined place and time, a place of safety and comfort, but also a place where nothing happens. One man wants to remain. The other isn't so sure. Through their feats of daring (and sometimes cowardice), they stumble through the darkness to find the big answers to life’s big questions.

When asked about the impetus for the play, Daniels explains, "I've never been one to think whatever may come after this life will be better. One can always hope and pray and believe, sure, but given the choice between the known and the unknown, frankly, it seems a lot of us would rather just stay put, thank you very much."

That's the "What if?" that drove the storyline of the play, Daniels said.

"How do we turn this life of ours into an everlasting one? Forget leaving a legacy or living on in other people's memories, I mean staying put. Right here, right now, forever and ever. That it doesn't work that way is the conflict in the play. And in us," Daniels said.

Directed by Guy Sanville, the cast includes Matthew Gwynn of Farmington (Our Town, Growing Pretty) and Michael Brian Ogden of Berkley (Superior Donuts, White Buffalo, Escanaba in da Moonlight).

Eight low-priced previews will be performed Jan. 10 through Jan. 17, with opening night on Jan. 18. Regular performances for the duration of the run are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m.; with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 3 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.

All performances will be held at The Purple Rose Theatre Company, 137 Park St. in Chelsea.

For more information, visit www.purplerosetheatre.org.

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