Talley's Folly at the Warren

Mark Webb

In a decrepit boathouse in southern Missouri during the later days of World War II, two unlikely soul mates meet. The pair should have nothing in common. One wants nothing to do with the other anymore, while the other can barely imagine going on without the other. Over the course of a single conversation, Matt and Sally learn they are much closer to each other than they originally thought in Lanford Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Jewish accountant Matt has traveled to Lebanon, Missouri, to finally win the hand of Sally, the unmarried "spinster" daughter of one of the two richest families in town. Her family is none too pleased, and she seems to want Matt to go away and never bother her again. Matt uses his charms to keep Sally around, and they begin to share the stories of what brought each of them to this place in life—unmarried, alone, and a bit lost. Wilson spins a complex using his two characters, and though the piece creaks at times at the beginning, once it gets moving it stays on track to the end. The performers, Bruce Abas and Jaime Kleiman, dive in nicely to the work, crafting prickly characters that have plenty of flaws but also are interesting enough to keep our attention and, eventually, to have us rooting for them to find love. Abas (who played the character in a 2002 version with the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company) slips into his role with a bit more ease than his co-star, but once Kleiman moves beyond the scowl she wears for much of the first quarter of the play, she is more than his equal.

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