Barrington Stage bringing back ‘Happiest Man on Earth’ by Mark St. Germain

Stage and screen veteran Kenneth Tigar is the sole actor in “The Happiest Man on Earth,” based on the bestselling 2020 memoir by then-100-year-old Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku.

Season-opening show returning for performances from Sept. 22 to Oct. 8

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Longtime TV and film actor Kenneth Tigar will return to the role of a 100-year-old Holocaust survivor in Barrington Stage Company’s production of the one-character play “The Happiest Man on Earth,” running Sept. 22 to Oct. 8 on BSC’s intimate the St. Germain Stage.

Tigar created the role for the production’s season-opening run from May 24 to June 17. Of the the 27 performances, a dozen were sold out, and reviews were universally positive

“The Happiest Man on Earth” was written by Barrington Stage’s longtime close associate Mark St. Germain, who has had 14 plays produced by the company. It is is based on a bestselling 2020 memoir of the same name, published when its author, Eddie Jaku, was 100 years old. Born in Leipzig in 1920, Eddie was the son of Polish-immigrant parents who were proud German Jews until the rise of the Nazis destroyed their lives.

During the 80-minute play, Tigar alternates between playing Eddie as a centenarian, finally telling his story to a synagogue audience in his adopted homeland of Australia, and multiple characters, from family to friends to fellow prisoners and Nazis. The play was commissioned by BSC from St. Germain through the Sydelle Blatt New Works Commission Fund. The stage named after St. Germain is in a building endowed by philanthropists Sydelle and Lee Blatt.

Performances from Sept. 22 to Oct. 8 will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, with Saturday matinees at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 23 and Oct. 7. Tickets, at $60 for adults and $25 for youth, are available online at or by calling 413-236-8888.   

Article by Steve Barnes for the Times Union.