New Jersey Stage 2017: Issue 5 - Page 108

thing worth exploring there for you. I think this play has its mo- ments of beauty and there’s ob- viously something in there you don’t always know what. You can’t necessarily express it all the time, but there’s something that compels you to make a cer- tain choice, which is kind of what the play is about.” The interview unexpectedly caused a stir on West Wing fan sites when Schiff revealed that he didn’t leave the show on his own and wasn’t pleased with how his character left. “They came up with firing him... That wasn’t my idea! Between you and me - and you can print this - Toby wouldn’t have done that in ten million years! But, you know, it’s not my show.” The Value Of Names (2006) And now my favorite memory of George Street… perhaps my favorite moment as a writer - in- NJ STAGE 2017 - Vol. 4 No. 5 terviewing Jack Klugman inside the theatre’s side lobby. Writ- ten by Jeffery Sweet, Klugman portrayed Benny Silverman, a retired actor whose career was derailed when Leo Gershen (played by Dan Lauria) named him in front of the House Un- American Activities Committee. Years later, Silverman is faced with the prospect of his daugh- ter performing in a play directed by Gershen. Jack Klugman as Oscar Madi- son on The Odd Couple was one of my main inspirations for be- coming a writer, so getting the opportunity to interview him was extremely special. We talked about the play and its parallels to his own life, about his health, and about his former co-star and close friend Tony Randall who passed away in 2004. He told me about a special performance of The Odd Couple with Ran- dall that was set up as a major INDEX NEXT ARTICLE 108