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Fighting Over Beverley

Fighting Over Beverley (Fountain Theater; 99 seats; $ 22 top) Fountain Theater presents a play in two acts by Israel Horovitz, directed by Hope Alexander-Willis. Producer, Simon Levy; associate producer, Yvonne Bennett. Set design, Sets-to-Go; lighting design, J. Kent Inasy; sound design, Charles Dayton. Opened Feb. 21, 1997; reviewed Feb. 28; runs until March 29. Running time: 2 hours. Cast: Priscilla Pointer (Beverley), Robert Symonds (Archie), Malachi Throne (Zelly), Jacqueline Schultz (Cecily). There is a double meaning to the title of this exquisitely crafted stagework by Israel Horovitz. In their youth, Britisher Archie (Robert Symonds) and American Zelly (Malachi Throne) were allied pilots who fought Hitler's Luftwaffe in the skies over the English town of Beverley. They were also rivals for the affections of a comely English lass who was named after the town. The Yank won out, whisking Beverley (Priscilla Pointer) as his bride back to his hometown of Gloucester, Mass. Fifty years later, doggedly determined septuagenarian Archie arrives in Gloucester and declares to his former love, "I intend to take you back, Bev. He's had you for 50 years. Enough is enough." The prolific Horovitz (50 produced plays including "The Indian Wants the Bronx," "Park Your Car in Harvard Yard," etc.) has created a fascinating dynamic among two grumpy old men and the now-frumpy love of their youth as Archie's single-minded persistence forces Beverley to remember her girlhood during the war and re-evaluate the 50 less than idyllic years she has had with Zelly, a fisherman who lost his leg during an air battle. To further complicate Bev and Zelly's predicament with Archie, Horovitz has thrown in a thrice-married daughter, Cecily (Jacqueline Schultz), who has come home after leaving her latest spouse and is resolved that her mother should give both dad and Archie the heave-ho and move in with her. Director Hope Alexander-Willis never allows the tension and the inherent humor of this situation to lag as Bev, Zelly, Archie and Cecily rehash half a century of unrequited longing, broken dreams, heartache, infidelities, disappointments and undiminished hope. Under Alexander-Willis' guidance, every nuance of Horovitz's multi-leveled interplay between characters is realized, including the on-going, often hilarious language and cultural barriers. At one point, Archie informs Cecily that the upstairs bathroom doesn't have any loo rolls (toilet paper). She thinks he wants to listen to a Lou Rawls album. The cast is uniformly excellent. As the catalyst for all the goings-on, Symonds' Archie is a flinty, straightforward, plain-speaking, working-class Brit who exudes dislike for Yanks from every pore of his being. Throne offers a thick, deeply brooding presence as the taciturn New England fisherman, Zelly, who is terrified at the thought of losing his wife even though he was unfaithful to her throughout their marriage. Pointer's Beverley actually appears to grow more youthful and exuberant as she sifts through years of memories, both good and bad, while Archie, Zelly and Cecily compete for her. When she finally confronts everyone with her decision about how she wants to spend the rest of her life, one can actually feel the weight of age and compromise being lifted off her soul. Schultz's man-hating Cecily offers a terrific contrast to the senior citizen shenanigans of her parents and Archie. The pain and resentment of her failed life is etched into her every word as she desperately reaches out for her parents to save her. Much of the credit for the success of this work must go to the wonderfully detailed set design by Sets-to-Go, enhanced by the light and sound designs of J. Kent Inasy and Charles Dayton, respectively. --- Julio Martinez

With:
Cast: Priscilla Pointer (Beverley), Robert Symonds (Archie), Malachi Throne (Zelly), Jacqueline Schultz (Cecily).

Fighting Over Beverley (Fountain Theater; 99 seats; $ 22 top) Fountain Theater presents a play in two acts by Israel Horovitz, directed by Hope Alexander-Willis. Producer, Simon Levy; associate producer, Yvonne Bennett. Set design, Sets-to-Go; lighting design, J. Kent Inasy; sound design, Charles Dayton. Opened Feb. 21, 1997; reviewed Feb. 28; runs until March 29. Running time: 2 hours. Cast: Priscilla Pointer (Beverley), Robert Symonds (Archie), Malachi Throne (Zelly), Jacqueline Schultz (Cecily). There is a double meaning to the title of this exquisitely crafted stagework by Israel Horovitz. In their youth, Britisher Archie (Robert Symonds) and American Zelly (Malachi Throne) were allied pilots who fought Hitler’s Luftwaffe in the skies over the English town of Beverley. They were also rivals for the affections of a comely English lass who was named after the town. The Yank won out, whisking Beverley (Priscilla Pointer) as his bride back to his hometown of Gloucester, Mass. Fifty years later, doggedly determined septuagenarian Archie arrives in Gloucester and declares to his former love, “I intend to take you back, Bev. He’s had you for 50 years. Enough is enough.” The prolific Horovitz (50 produced plays including “The Indian Wants the Bronx,” “Park Your Car in Harvard Yard,” etc.) has created a fascinating dynamic among two grumpy old men and the now-frumpy love of their youth as Archie’s single-minded persistence forces Beverley to remember her girlhood during the war and re-evaluate the 50 less than idyllic years she has had with Zelly, a fisherman who lost his leg during an air battle. To further complicate Bev and Zelly’s predicament with Archie, Horovitz has thrown in a thrice-married daughter, Cecily (Jacqueline Schultz), who has come home after leaving her latest spouse and is resolved that her mother should give both dad and Archie the heave-ho and move in with her. Director Hope Alexander-Willis never allows the tension and the inherent humor of this situation to lag as Bev, Zelly, Archie and Cecily rehash half a century of unrequited longing, broken dreams, heartache, infidelities, disappointments and undiminished hope. Under Alexander-Willis’ guidance, every nuance of Horovitz’s multi-leveled interplay between characters is realized, including the on-going, often hilarious language and cultural barriers. At one point, Archie informs Cecily that the upstairs bathroom doesn’t have any loo rolls (toilet paper). She thinks he wants to listen to a Lou Rawls album. The cast is uniformly excellent. As the catalyst for all the goings-on, Symonds’ Archie is a flinty, straightforward, plain-speaking, working-class Brit who exudes dislike for Yanks from every pore of his being. Throne offers a thick, deeply brooding presence as the taciturn New England fisherman, Zelly, who is terrified at the thought of losing his wife even though he was unfaithful to her throughout their marriage. Pointer’s Beverley actually appears to grow more youthful and exuberant as she sifts through years of memories, both good and bad, while Archie, Zelly and Cecily compete for her. When she finally confronts everyone with her decision about how she wants to spend the rest of her life, one can actually feel the weight of age and compromise being lifted off her soul. Schultz’s man-hating Cecily offers a terrific contrast to the senior citizen shenanigans of her parents and Archie. The pain and resentment of her failed life is etched into her every word as she desperately reaches out for her parents to save her. Much of the credit for the success of this work must go to the wonderfully detailed set design by Sets-to-Go, enhanced by the light and sound designs of J. Kent Inasy and Charles Dayton, respectively. — Julio Martinez

Fighting Over Beverley

Fountain Theater; 99 seats; $22 top; Opened Feb. 21, 1997; runs until March 29.

Production: Fountain Theater presents a play in two acts by Israel Horovitz, directed by Hope Alexander-Willis. Producer, Simon Levy; associate producer, Yvonne Bennett. Set design, Sets-to-Go;

Creative: lighting design, J. Kent Inasy; sound design, Charles Dayton. reviewed Feb. 28; Running time: 2 hours.

Cast: Cast: Priscilla Pointer (Beverley), Robert Symonds (Archie), Malachi Throne (Zelly), Jacqueline Schultz (Cecily).

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