by Angela Avery, Published October 27, 2010
YPSILANTI - America's 26th president will receive the sincerest form of flattery on the date of his 152nd birthday.
Eastern Michigan University's Political Science Department sponsors Joe Wiegand's performance of the one-man show, "An Evening with Teddy Roosevelt," Wednesday, Oct. 27, 7-8 p.m., in the Halle Library Auditorium. The public is invited to attend.
Although Roosevelt was only 42 when he assumed office, Wiegand portrays an older President Roosevelt, reminiscing about his younger days. Wiegand performed this same show in the White House in 2008 and all across the United States.
"So many of T.R.'s contemporaries testify to the way he entertained audiences with inspirational and humorous stories from his youth, his ranching days, Cuba and the Presidency," said Wiegand in a quote listed on "The Teddy Roosevelt Show's" website. "I really enjoy sharing T.R.'s funny stories of life in the White House with six kids and telling anecdotes from his many adventures - from bear hunts to the Panama Canal, from Africa to the Amazon. T.R. is so big and so exciting!"
James Ivers, an Eastern Michigan University professor of political science, has a long history with Wiegand. While both were graduate students at Northern Illinois University, they became well acquainted with each other due to their common interest in softball.
"I think it would be great for my students to see this performance," Ivers said. "Roosevelt was an interesting president. He was an avid outdoorsman in his adult life, but a sickly child."
Ivers considers Wiegand to be a progressive libertarian and old-line conservationist, reasons Wiegand truly appreciates Roosevelt, who started the National Parks System.
"He's one of those natural actors," Ivers said of Wiegand, who has performed his act for nearly five years. "Joe even looks just like Teddy Roosevelt."
Wiegand received his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. Also, he was once a graduate assistant at the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. Jim Wiegand, his father, was a comedian and joke writer for celebrity comedians, such as Johnny Carson.