Dinner Theatre in October


Dinner Theatre: From the Terrace,
BUtterfield 8

From Robert Saliba:
'From the Terrace' dinner theatre at the Schuylkill Country Club, presented by the Schuylkill County Council for the Arts, will be produced 8,9,10 October. Cathy Fiorillo is producer/director. Cost is $35 per person, including dinner and play. Call 570-622-2788. I am trying to get reservations for Friday night. The person who handles it is on vacation, and I've been told they won't focus on it for a few weeks. (This please recall is the Lantenengo Country Club).

Cathy Fiorello adapted those four stories we saw in Pine Grove (Richterville) last month. She did a brilliant job. She's done From the Terrace before. I don't know how she would do this;it's such a big sprawling novel.

I was looking at it the other day, and I think you could make Alfred's relationship with Victoria Dockwiler and Norma Budd a short story or novella unto itself. I re-read those passages and I think they could do very nicely standing by themselves. With Victoria especially the scenes the Friday after Thanksgiving, the meeting on the porch, Spring Day at Knox, after the dance and her death and the funeral. Then there are the scenes with Norma Budd, and then there is the time in January 1916 when Alfred learns of Norma's death from a newspaper that Lex brings him, than there's this:
'Alfred re-read the newspaper and put it down and looked out the window and saw nothing but what there was to see: the hard ground, some of it dug up for trench wafare exercises; the leafless trees; the young men in civilian clothing and some in the uniform of the officers' training units; the corners of dormitories; the tops of towers; the groundkeeper's wagon.'
It simply doesn't get any better than this, and I wonder if I speak for other John O'Hara fans that all of us underneath harbour some anger that he is very under-rated and under-appreciated as an author.

I agree with Brian on BUtterfield 8. Good input. But one thing: BUtterfield 8 did take place during the Great Depression in the early 1930's, but Prohibition was still in effect. It wasn't repealed until 1933 during FDR's Administration. When our 'hero' Weston Leggett got beaten up and bloodied and crawled back to his apartment to his wife and another couple all dressed up to go to the theatre he got beaten up and bloodied in a speakeasy.

Robert Saliba
Morristown, New Jersey

1 comment:

James MacDonald said...

I am a fan of both Butterfield 8 and From the Terrace, though juat how you adapt the latter to the stage is a full-length mystery. I agree that this early section of Alfred's life lends itself best.

Is Weston Liggett the hero of Butterfield 8? I've always thought Eddie Brunner is more sympathetic. And, for me, he's more sympathetic than the novel's James Malloy. I believe this is virtually O'Hara's only attempt to characterise Malloy in the third person. The portrayal isn't straightforward. But it's hardly the "reliable narration" we've come to welcome.