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Sally & Glen at the Palace
a Comedy/Drama
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA
by Peter Hardy

COMPANY : Essential Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Actor's Express [WEBSITE]
ID# 3761

SHOWING : July 08, 2010 - August 08, 2010

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

SALLY AND GLENN AT THE PALACE by Peter Hardy, A funny, heart-breaking story about the growing friendship between two college students working at a movie theatre in the 1970’s.

"Peter Hardy has given us a touching and intimate work that's an absolute must for cinephiles! Ellen McQueen directed this production brought to life by Kate Graham and Jacob York. Kudos to you all! And thank you, Peter." Scott Poythress, Actor

"Playwright Peter Hardy's script was wonderful, the acting was superb. So funny and poignant in the first act. So poignant and more serious in the second. I left with a big smile and one tear. I'm going to see it again later in the run." Letitia Sweitzer

"This show is elegantly written -- touching and smart. I saw it once on my own, I plan to bring my wife to it again."
Hank Kimmel

"Sally and Glen at the Palace" by Peter Hardy, part of Essential Theatre's Play festival was just great! The acting is A+ and the staging wonderful. And a terrific script that will make you laugh and move you. So, treat yourself to a terrific play." James Beck

"An excellent play! Bittersweet, and true." Ann Neff


CAST & CREW LIST
Writer/Composer Peter Hardy
Director Ellen McQueen
Crew Jennifer Brown
Stage Manager Redd Horrocks
Cast Katie Graham
Cast Jacob York
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Like Story
by Dedalus
Thursday, August 5, 2010
5.0
It’s 1973, and Sally and Glen work at a small neighborhood movie house in a college town. Throughout the course of a number of weeks, they talk about movies and books and love and life and college and home and pretty much everything co-workers talk about when things aren’t too busy, which, of course, happens a lot in a movie house. Finally, Sally moves on with her live, while Glen does not (yet).

Simple? Of course! But this piece (well-written by Essential Theatre Festival Artistic Director Peter Hardy), struck a number of familiar chords in me, and, I loved every minute of it.

First (and probably foremost), I was in college and falling in love with movies during the period covered by the play. Our college town cinema (the Kalos Clifton in Huntingdon PA, a one-movie town) was a movie house much like the Palace, alternating between the latest releases, foreign and independent fare for the college crowd, blaxploitation and kung fu features, and porn. So, plot aside, the play was a nostalgic wallow for me, made more fun by all the “Now Playing” and “Next Week” posters projected onto the set (I suppose we have the internet to thank for all those classic images). The movies Sally and Glen talk about were the movies of my college days, and I loved all of them, even those I hated.

Next, not to put too fine a point on it, but I WAS Glen, aspiring to be a filmmaker while supporting my movie addiction by working in the campus cafeteria and running 16-MM films for classes and other events. I have a chestful of Super-8 movies I made at the time, and was actually accepted in USC’s filmmaking MFA program in 1977 (the reason that didn’t actually happen is for another time and place and lifetime). Okay, I didn’t have the sort of encounter he describes at the end of the play and I did live on campus, not in my parents’ basement, but there is so much about the character I recognized, the experience of watching the play was like an extended episode of déjà vu for me.

In a few not-so-subtle ways, I was also Sally – majoring in English, relishing every moment I spent buried in a book, and practicing admire-from-a-distance denialism in place of an actual love life. Sure, her lack of movie-geek trivia knowledge provided some distance, but there was much about her struck (maybe too) many chords of familiarity.

Throw on top of all this nostalgia-fest a “Like Story” about two people who may (or may not) be sorta-semi right for each other (but miss every opportunity to say so), underscore it all with a boatload of unspoken (but strongly communicated) sub-text and back story, and season with a roller-coaster ride of wit and whimsy, darkness and regret, and the result if one of the warmest, most moving plays of the year.

It doesn’t hurt that Sally and Glen are given such vivid performances by Kate Graham and Jacob York. Glen is almost a “before” view of the character Mr. York recently played in “reasons to be pretty,” obsessive and driven, earnest and naïve, intelligent and clueless, all at the same time, and he is absolutely perfect in it. Ms. Graham gives Sally a charm that won me over from the start, yet she is also not afraid to wallow in her own cluelessness about people outside her “comfort zone” of family and acquaintances. In addition, she skillfully navigates a few “From the Future” narrative asides, showing us a glimpse of the fully-formed adult her younger self will one day become.

Set designer Roy Howington has constructed a credible movie house lobby, with movie posters projected along the sides to indicate the passage (or non-passage) of time. Director Ellen McQueen keeps the tempo lively, and gives her two-person cast ample room to interact, to grow, and to create a slice of time that is moving and funny and utterly compelling.

This is definitely a play for anyone who’s ever been to college, who ever had a love affair with the movies, or who ever had a “Like Affair” with a co-worker you wanted to be closer to. It’s a play for anyone who ever wanted a Michel Legrand soundtrack to that first date that goes horribly wrong. It’s a play for anyone with a taste for good acting, good writing, or just plain old good times.

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)

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