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MSU alumnus Peter Carey plays Ernie Harwell in Mitch Albom’s “Ernie”

MSU alumnus Peter Carey plays legendary Detroit Tigers broadcaster and iconic Michigander Ernie Harwell in MitchAlbom’s acclaimed “Ernie,” the longest running play in Detroit theatre history. Peter will be playing Ernie at his alma mater when the play comes to MSU’s Wharton Center August 24 – 27.

“Ernie is so loved; you have to respect the man,” says Carey. “You don’t do an impression or caricature of him. You channel Ernie Harwell. And if you’re true to how he lived his life, it comes through on stage and people love it.”

Carey says he gets “a special tingle – because that was Ernie’s word” when he talks in the play about seeing Tiger Stadium for the first time. And the audience reactions are tremendous.

“You have these women who have these big, burly baseball fan husbands weeping on their shoulder and they’re patting them going ‘it’s alright; honey it’s alright’ because it’s a very emotional play.”

Carey adds that “I knew he was loved by the public, but the magnitude of the people this man touched is phenomenal. You don’t understand the magnitude of his reach” until you interact with audience.

He adds that it’s an understatement to say it’ll be special to play Ernie at his alma mater.

“MSU has had a huge impact on me, but more so some of the alumni have – Scott Westerman and Steve Schram have gone on to great careers, and they started me on my career path and I’m thankful for them.”

Carey talks about technology’s amazing impact on the entertainment world and laments the passing of Michigan’s film incentive program.

And Carey offers his advice to young people who want to follow his footsteps into the entertainment world.

“Don’t give up. You have to thrive on rejection. If you’re batting .200 in your auditions in the performance world, you’re doing great. I think I get one out of tens of handfuls of auditions that I go on. But when you get one, there’s an incredible reward.

“Don’t limit yourself. If you have an opportunity to try something else, do it; get out of your comfort zone. It sounds cliché, but that’s where you find your self-discovery when you expand your comfort zone. And the next thing you know, it’s on your resume.”

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