Taking place in just over 90 minutes and set on the fourth of July in 1944, the story focuses on Matt Friedman, a Jewish accountant in his early forties and Sally Talley, a 31 year old Protestant nurse who Matt met the summer before. When the play begins we know Matt has come to ask Sally to marry him, though they barely know each other, as he talks to the audience and let's us know of his plans. He also let's us know that the setting for the evening is the boathouse of the Talley family, a "folly" as they were called then, that has unfortunately not been maintained very well and is starting to fall apart. He says it will be the perfect romantic setting for the "dance" he needs to do, a waltz he tells us, as not only is the folly the place that he and Sally came to last Summer but there will be stars in the sky and across the river there will be a band playing for the holiday.
|Sarah Paulson and Danny Burstein|
|Burstein and Paulson|
Wilson's language in the play is so perfect and tender and includes many wonderful and funny lines. One of my favorite lines of the play is when Sally questions Matt why he came and that he should leave and he replies “You can chase me away or you can put on a pretty dress, but you can’t put on a pretty dress to come down here and chase me away.” Wilson is often compared to Tennessee Williams and it is easy to see why.
The set design by Jeff Cowie turns the entire production into a dreamy, romantic setting, just like Matt says he needs and director Michael Wilson perfectly gets at the pain and sorrow and ultimate joy that is inside these two characters. With Burstein and Paulson this production is charming, romantic and simply lovely. Talley's Folly runs through May 12th.
Official Show site
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