Friday, April 9, 2010

Experience a "comedy of excellent manners" with Salem Theatre Company

Salem Theatre Company has a lot going on - they have a new theatre, they ran a very successful new theatre showcase in March, and now they have opened their first production on their very own stage.

Congratulations to the members of the Salem Theatre Company! It is so exciting to see you grow and succeed.

Later Life, a comedy by A.R. Gurney directed by STC's John Fogle, opened last night in the theatre on Lafayette Street.
Here's the story: Austin, played by Stephen Cooper, has spent his entire life convinced that something terrible is bound to happen to him. One night, at a party overlooking Boston Harbor, he rekindles a romance begun three decades ago with Ruth, played by Sarah Carlin. Now a multiple divorcee, Ruth’s personal life is in such turmoil that mutual friends look to Austin as Ruth’s last show at normalcy. They also hope the wildly unpredictable Ruth will loosen Austin from the grip of years of lifelessness. Comically, and sometimes painfully, these two people rediscover each other and themselves while a bevy of free-spirited guests rally behind them and remind them of the infinite possibilities that life holds, should one only choose to pursue them.

I loved watching the dialogue between Ruth and Austin. It is at times painful, but the timing was perfect, providing a new character to lighten the tone and give Austin and Ruth a break from the connection they are working so hard to make.

Half of the cast is tasked with playing two rolls, which they did ably. James Wilcox was fantastic, playing both Jim and Duane. His soliloquy about smoking was marvelous (fear not, and I quote the program, "no tobacco products are consumed during this performance). Lynn Shane's Nancy was wonderfully comedic. Grace Butler and Brian Casey played two couples in two different stages of life - one heading north, one heading south - gave us all a look at what life after fifty could be with great humor.

Later Life is running April 8 - 25. Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 3:00 PM. Tickets are $20 adults and $15 seniors and students.

On Thursday, April 15, there will be a talk-back with the cast and director.

Go see Later Life. And heed it's warning: Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.

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