89.1 WEMU

Art & Soul: Catching Up With Jeff Daniels And His Efforts To Support Purple Rose Theatre In Chelsea

Apr 23, 2020

Jeff Daniels
Credit Purple Rose Theatre Company / purplerosetheatre.org
Award-winning actor and musician Jeff Daniels is home in Chelsea right now quarantined like the rest of us due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Like all other entertainment venues, Daniels had to shut down the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea to curb the spread of the virus.  He talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about an idea he has to raise support for the theatre and fills us in on the many other projects he's been working on in film and TV.


Jeff Daniels tells Lisa Barry he had just finished  filming a miniseries based on former FBI director James Comey's memoir "A Higher Loyalty" in mid-February.  He had taken a few weeks off before traveling to Philadelphia to begin work on a new Showtime series "Rust," based on the Philipp Meyer novel "American Rust," when the pandemic began and production was halted.  He returned to Chelsea and is staying home with his family under the Governor's order but is still staying busy!

He tells Lisa it's sort of a preview for retirement after just recently turning 65 but says he is putting his spare time to good use cataloging the many plays he has written and "woodshedding" his guitar-playing skills.

Daniels has a home studio in Chelsea and plans to perform LIVE Monday. April 27th in which he's calling, "JEFF DANIELS ONLINE AND UNPLUGGED LIVE: A FUNDRAISER FOR THE PURPLE ROSE THEATRE COMPANY.” 

The video can be watched below.

Watching will be free, but Daniels says he hopes it inspires people to donate to the theatre not knowing when it will reopen again.  He also said since he's staying home anyway, he may do the live concerts online every week.

Lisa and Jeff also talked about a tribute song he did for Detroit Tiger Al Kaline, who recently passed away, saying his childhood hero taught him about the value of "hard work."  Watch the video below.

To learn more about Jeff Daniels and his music, check out his website.   You can also check out the Purple Rose Theatre's website for updates.


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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu