In this splendid revival of Lanford Wilson’s 1980 Pulitzer award winning play TALLEY’S FOLLY the language of love reigns supreme. It’s July 4th 1944.
As beautifully directed by Michael Wilson this romantic tale of two unlikely people falling in love with each other is a Valentine to the theatre going public delivered by the Roundabout Theatre Company in 97 minutes. 97 minutes in real time and theatrical time.
The wonderful production is playing Off Broadway at the Laura Pels Theatre and should not be missed. Even if you are not a romantic you will succumb to the spell cast by its two leading actors who couldn’t be a better match for each other.
A sensational Danny Burstein is Matt Friedman. He is forty something, an accountant and Jewish and had fallen hard the previous summer where he became smitten with Sally Talley (a spellbinding Sarah Paulson) who is a nurse’s aide and thirty something and not Jewish.
In fact, her wealthy family considers her well on the way to becoming an eccentric old maid in the land of Missouri as they reconnect in the dilapidated old boathouse where they first met.
She, with her refined elegance, is attracted to him in a certain way but holds back, thinking that their continuing on in a relationship would never work. He is a grand storyteller and sets us up in a most delightful theatrical manner trying his best with humor and restrained flirtation to ease her into moving on with him even though he is considered “a commie infidel” by her family.
They have more in common than meets the eye and it is delightful to see them baiting each other, arguing and eventually opening enough about their pasts to have us swooning and rooting for their being together.
These two may be different but they are smart. Along the way is a very amusing scene that has Matt donning ice skates. Danny Burstein is a most accomplished actor, with expert comic timing and an agility that has him giving his all for love.
A love that Ms. Paulson tries her best to deter and derail. Luckily for everyone involved there is a happy ending. How romantic is that?
The exceptional lighting design is by Rui Rita which adds to the magical mystery of what constitutes love on the Laura Pels stage in this very satisfying production that has been extended through May 12th.
www.RoundaboutTheatre.org Photos: Joan Marcus
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