Friday, December 21, 2012

TALLEY'S FOLLY • New Jewish Theatre

Talley's Folly, written in 1979 by Lanford Wilson, takes a look at the reunion of an unlikely couple -- a Jewish accountant and a small town girl from Lebanon, Missouri.

It's 1944, and Matt Friedman (Shaun Sheley) has travelled from St. Louis to Lebanon, MO to seek out Sally Talley (Meghan Maguire) -- a woman with whom he had had a little Summertime dalliance with a year before.  Matt charmingly begins the play, addressing the audience and setting the stage for us.  The story itself is relatively simple.  In the process of reconnecting with each other and overcoming the prejudices of the 40's, and their own vulnerable isolation, we learn about Matt and his determination to see Sally again along with his family's painful past.  An initially chilly Sally also eventually reveals her past as the intended wife in a financially honorable match, and how that unfortunately went down in flames.  They also talk about the boathouse, where all of the action takes place and where they first  met (beautiful scenic design provided by Jason Coale and evocatively shifting lights courtesy of Nathan Schroeder).

Meghan Maguire (Sally)
and Shaun Sheley (Matt).
Photo credit: John Lamb
This is a poignant little "I'll show you my insides if you show me yours" kind of one-act, and under Deanna Jent's smooth direction, the leads, Sheley and Maguire, bear genuinely real emotions during this 93 minute or so two-hander.  Both are captivating throughout.  In addition to Coale's scenic design and Schroeder's lighting design, the costumes by Michele Friedman Siler and sound by Robin Weatherall do their part in contributing enriching elements to the play.

While this play assumes a leisurely pace, you're easily invited to participate as a fly on the wall, witnessing a relatively brief but emotionally revealing encounter that sheds rewarding moments.  Only one more weekend!


Written by Lanford Wilson
Directed by Deanna Jent
Marvin & Harlene Wool Studio, 2 Millstone Campus Drive Creve Coeur
through December 23 | tickets: $35.50 - $39.50
Performances Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm & 7:30pm

Shaun Sheley (Matt) and Meghan Maguire (Sally).
Photo credit: John Lamb
Meghan Maguire (Sally) and Shaun Sheley* (Matt)
* Member Actors' Equity Association

Scenic design by Jason Coale; lighting design by Nathan Schroeder; costume design by Michele Friedman Siler; sound design by Robin Weatherall; dialect coach; Richard Lewis; stage manager, Eric Nathan Brady.

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