Ironton performer brings music home

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 8, 1999

Mickey Fisher wants to show his friends and family what he’s been doing for the past few years in New York, and he’s inviting the rest of the community, too.

Wednesday, September 08, 1999

Mickey Fisher wants to show his friends and family what he’s been doing for the past few years in New York, and he’s inviting the rest of the community, too.

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An Ironton native, Fisher has returned home to perform a one-man musical show – "To Get There From Here " – at 8 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Ironton High School Auditorium.

"I’m a little bit nervous about performing at home, but I’m mostly excited," Fisher said. "Few people from home have seen me perform since I got out of high school. I’m excited to show people how I’ve grown and tell some of these people what I’ve been doing since I left."

Some might remember seeing Fisher on that stage before. The Ironton High School Class of 1991 graduate performed in "The King and I," "Li’l Abner," "Oklahoma," "Guys and Dolls" and "Annie."

In fact, Fisher credits Ironton High School and the wonderful staff there – musical directors Jeff Handley and Bill Rath – for his current success.

"I have Mr. Handley and Mr. Rath to thank for so much," he said. "Doing the shows at the high school every year made theater more than something fun to do to get out of class. They just made it so much fun. It became more of a way to push myself, and express myself."

After graduating from the Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Fisher headed to New York.

But he took a different path than the one followed by most of the conservatory’s graduates.

"When I got to New York, I didn’t really have a desire to audition for Broadway plays," he said. "I started writing and directing. I also worked for a Broadway production company as a production assistant. Getting that experience was a huge thing."

Since January, Fisher has mainly concentrated on getting his original work on stage.

He recently debuted "To Get There From Here " – a one-man musical show blending Broadway hits, pop/rock, folk and original music with hilarious and moving stories of life as a "starving artist" in New York – at The Wagon Wheel Theater in Warsaw, Ind.

"The show sold out at the cabaret in Indiana," Fisher said. "Each night, there were 150 people there. Some of the things in the show are from two one-man shows I wrote and performed in New York – ‘Random Acts’ and ‘Subway Train.’"

A lot of his material is from personal experiences while living in Ironton and New York, he added.

"One of the things I’m doing, one of the pieces is about this one night I was in Washington Square Park promoting a show I was producing," Fisher said. "A homeless guy came up to me and I ended up talking to him. It turns out that he was in the emergency room the same night John Lennon was brought in after he was shot and killed."

Fisher also has included stories about his performances at Ironton High School in his show.

"There are not a lot of people out there that are writing and telling stories about people from where we live, and there are some great stories out there," he said.

Fisher didn’t just come back to Ironton to perform his show and pick up new stories, however.

"I love it here," he said. "I always miss it when I’m gone. I miss going to football games and to the river. I especially miss my family and the feel of the town."

And he will be leaving something for future generations of fine arts lovers behind.

Part of the proceeds from the show will go toward a performing arts scholarship for Ironton High School students, Fisher said.

"I wanted to do it to give something back," Fisher said. "That’s where I got my love of theater and where I decided to make theater my life. If I can help someone else get to that point, I’ll be happy."

Tickets to the show are $8 for adults and $5 for children at the door.