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AMHERST TIMES: Jewish Repertory Theatre to stage Talley’s Folly


Jewish Repertory continues its 16th season with the 1980 Pulitzer-prize winning play, Talley's Folly, by Lanford Wilson, February 7 – March 3.

Set in a 1944 deserted Victorian boathouse on the Talley place in Lebanon, Missouri, Talley's Folly follows Matt Friedman, a Jewish accountant from St. Louis, who has arrived to plead his love to Sally Talley, the susceptible but uncertain daughter of the family. Bookish, erudite, totally honest, and delightfully funny, Matt refuses to accept Sally's rebuffs and her fears that her family would never approve of their marriage.

What begins as a story that appears on the outside to be about a Jewish man wooing a gentile woman in the 1944 Midwest quickly shifts to reveal the challenge of relationships between two emotionally wounded individuals who belong together. Gradually it is clear that they are two kindred spirits who have truly found each other and who, in their union, will find a wholeness rare in human relationships.

"Since its inception in 1917, only 99 plays have received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and rarely do comedies receive the prestigious honor," says JRT co-founder and Artistic Director, Saul Elkin. "The Pulitzer judges were taken with Lanford Wilson's quiet, funny, yet powerful TALLEY'S FOLLY… and so were we. On the surface, this is a simple story of an over-forties bachelor wooing a thirty something spinster but we think audiences will find it full, rich and sweetly amusing. We are pleased to welcome back director Steve Vaughan (Bad Jews, Beau Jest) and actress Anne Roaldi Boucher (After the Revolution, Compulsion or The House Behind, Kindertransport), and to welcome for the first time on the JRT stage, actor Chris J. Handley."

The Folly referred to in the title of the play is a boathouse, a fanciful and frivolously extravagant structure that comments on the aesthetics of the era. This romantic setting is full of intention as a backdrop for the obstacle fraught courtship that blossoms during the darkest days of World War II. Set designer David Dwyer, with decades of impressive set design in his portfolio of work, has long wanted to build a set for Talley's Folly, and will be recreating this famous boathouse for the Jewish Repertory Theatre's production.

The Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York is a program of the JCC of Greater Buffalo.  This season's original artwork is created by artist Eta Rottenberg. For more information on JRT productions, dates and tickets, visit www.jewishrepertorytheatre.com.  Tickets are available at 716-650-7626, through Showclix at 1-888-718-4253 (Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm EST) or at either JCC reception desk.

Originally published on Amherst Times. Republished with permission.

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