beethovenAbout :  Beethoven and Misfortune Cookies

  • A one man play  featuring Ernest Harden Jr.
  • Based on a true story about the life of Kabin Thomas, a music professor at the University of Arkansas who was  fired for using profanity in his classroom. This controversial play examines censorship in higher education. ,
  •  The play was written by Joni Ravenna and covers topics of race, censorship in higher education, family, and the popular question…Who am I?
  • Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 7:30 PM on the campus of Michigan State University

To reserve complementary tickets to the performance, contact the Wharton Ticket Box Office at (517) 353-1982 or

Ernest Harden, Jr is a MSU alumnus (Theatre, ’74)

A private reception will follow the performance in the Christman Lounge. Complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. RSVP by September 19 to or call (517) 353-4725.

The event is sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, Professor Emerita Gretel Geist Rutledge, and the Department of Theatre.



By Matt Harris

Source:  The Tolucan Times   (

Photo by Rob Flores

Ernest Harden Jr. in “Beethoven and the Misfortune Cookies.”

Beethoven and the Misfortune Cookies is a one-man show, based on the true story of Kabin Thomas, a professor of music at the University of Arkansas who struggles to come to terms with his identity after the school fires him.

Ernest Harden Jr. portrays Thomas, taking us on a journey through music history and his own past. Harden’s performance is emotional and hilarious, comprised of class lectures, flashbacks to childhood, and therapist sessions. The play, written by Joni Ravenna, explores race, censorship, family, and the question everyone asks themselves at some point: Who am I?

Harden’s performance shows the duality of Kabin Thomas’ personality. On one side, a well spoken, confident professor who is adored by the community for his over-the-top lectures, on the other, a man lost in his blurry past, unable to understand his childhood, family, and most importantly, himself.

After being let go from the university, Thomas contemplates life as a star and moves to L.A. to be in a reality show. After seeing that this does not complete him, he becomes introspective of himself, and examines the lives of Beethoven and Billie Holiday, two musicians who experienced difficult childhoods. In this comparison, Thomas finds both the problem and the answer. He has been measuring himself to others, placing expectations on himself that he will never meet, when instead he should take the ultimate satisfaction in being himself, a professor of music.

Beethoven and the Misfortune Cookies is playing at The MET Theatre located at 1089 N. Oxford Ave. Call (323) 960-5773 for reservations.