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Farr out; Asner in – Former 'M*A*S*H' star's Dixon appearance canceled

'Mary Tyler Moore' star will step in with his comedy

DIXON – If you can't get a cross-dressing Klinger in a cardigan, will you settle for Mr. Grant in a hospital gown?

"Tuesdays With Morrie – The Play," which was to be performed Oct. 6 at the Historic Dixon Theatre with Jamie Farr of "M*A*S*H" fame in the starring role, is canceled. The show's director and co-star are in Canada and can't get visas to enter the U.S., production company Cue Theatricals said in a news release Monday.

In its place: seven-time Emmy-award-winner Ed Asner's "hilarious and critically acclaimed" one-man show, "A Man and His Prostate," the release said.

It's based on fellow Emmy-award-winning writer Ed Weinberger's true-life experience while vacationing in Italy and being rushed to the hospital for prostate cancer surgery.

"Tuesdays ... " – which also had to be canceled in more than 40 other cities, the release said – was to be the first in a seven-production series of nationally touring shows being brought to the 950-seat Dixon theater by Cue Theatricals.

The Florida-based company is collaborating with area organizations and businesses to revitalize the 95-year-old building.

It's not Asner's first one-man play: The 87-year-old – best known as Lou Grant from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Lou Grant" TV series, Santa Claus in "Elf," and the voice of the curmudgeonly Carl in Pixar's animated film "Up" – also has toured the country in "FDR." He has several Broadway acting credits under his belt, as well as two Golden Globes and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild.

He and Weinberger, who wrote for the "Mary Tyler Moore Show," are longtime pals.

Asner, an activist for animal and actors' rights (he's a former SAG president) considers this another campaign: to bring awareness to the importance of early screening and testing for prostate cancer.

Other than skin cancer, it's the most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer and colorectal cancer. Nearly 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, about 6 cases in 10 in men 65 or older.

The best argument for screening? While it can be a serious disease, most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it. In fact, more than 2.9 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed at some point still are alive today.

THE SEASON

DIXON – "A Man and His Prostate," a one-man show starring Ed Asner, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Historic Dixon Theatre, 114 S. Galena Ave.

The performance will be the first brought to the theater by Cue Theatricals, and will replace "Tuesdays With Morrie – The Play," which has been canceled.

Tickets range from $46 to $59; those already purchased for "Tuesdays" will be honored.

The rest of the season lineup:

Oct. 20 – “Beginnings – The Ultimate Tribute to Chicago”

Nov. 11 – “A Night with Janis Joplin”

Dec. 6 – “A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage”

Jan. 24 – “Abba Mania”

Feb. 17 – “The New Shanghai Circus”

March 13 – “Rhythm in the Night, The Irish Dance Spectacular”

All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. except "The New Shanghai Circus," which also will have a 2 p.m. showing.

Go to cuetheatricals.com or dixontheatre.com for tickets, refunds or more information; call the box office at 888-445-4401 or 888-571-0965 for groups of 10 or more.

Ticket sales have been "excellent," Cue President John Poland said Monday. About 60 percent of the show's tickets are sold, and they will be honored for "A Man and His Prostate."

Refunds or credits for other show tickets also are available.

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