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HOME > Biographical > 100 New Yorkers of the 1970s > WESTSIDER MICHAEL MORIARTY
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Star of Holocaust returns to Broadway in G.R. Point


When Michael Moriarty rose to national stardom last year with his chilling portrayal of SS Officer Dorf in the NBC miniseries Holocaust, his performance was witnessed by some 120 million Americans. His current vehicle, G.R. Point at the Playhouse Theatre on West 48th Street plays to a maximum audience of 500. Yet, in the lead role of Micah Bradstreet, a wet-behind-the-ears soldier from rural Maine, Moriarty delivers what Clive Barnes of the New York Post has said is "the best performance, so far, of his career."

G.R. Point is a play about the Vietnam War and its effects on those who are forced to partake in it. Set on a strikingly designed stage built to resemble a devastated hillside, the play demonstrates how each of the eight characters manages to cope with his predicament in his own way. Its message is summed up in the final words of the drama, spoken to Micah as he departs for the U.S.: he is told to "count the living, not the dead."

"One of the main reasons I wanted to do this play is that it affirms life," says Moriarty, in a dressing room interview just before a performance. "It doesn't take any specific political stance, but it doesn't avoid any of the horrors of war. Its only stance is: in the end, what overcomes the situation is love. And love sometimes shows itself in the strangest, most bizarre ways."

He is tall and solidly built, looking somewhat younger than his 38 years, and though his demeanor has an edge of shyness to it, Moriarty's penetrating eyes reveal that much is going on beneath the surface. Asked about his personal views on Vietnam, the actor replies, "I'm not an intellectual, so I have no specific feelings about it." But his conversation soon reveals him to be a deep thinker and a wit besides, whose remarks are tempered as much by humility as by professional instinct.

"Whatever I could say about the war has been better stated by David Berry, the playwright. I'm able to show my emotional response to the war through Micah Bradstreet. … I'm not trying to influence anyone in any way in particular. I do think the play tells the truth about Vietnam. So the more information people have, the better decisions they can make."

Moriarty's decision to become a dramatic actor can be traced to his undergraduate days at Dartmouth College, when he was overwhelmed by Paul Scofield's performance in Love's Labor Lost. Following graduation, he won a Fulbright Scholarship to attend the London Academy of Music an............
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