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The Octette Bridge Club

Infos zum Theaterstück:
Probeaufführungen:  ab 26.02.85,  8 Stück
Datum des Eröffnungsabends:  05.03.85
Datum der Schlussaufführung:  23.03.85 (nach
                                    insg. 24 Vorstellungen)
Infos zu diesem Bericht:
Stadt: New York City
Theater: Music Box Theatre
Quelle der Angaben: Internet Broadway Database

Infos zum Stück und der Handlung:
Ort der Handlung: The living room of Ann (Mrs. John Conroy) in a Rhode Island town. October 1934 and 1944.

Die Handlung:  The Octette Bridge Club focuses on eight sisters of Irish descent who meet on alternate Friday evenings to play bridge and gossip. The first act, which opens with the women posing for a photograph for the Sunday rotogravure section of the local newspaper, takes place in October 1934, and the second act is set just prior to Halloween ten years later.

Ann Conroy, married to a man who drinks too much, is a no-nonsense schoolteacher who hosts the bridge nights. Martha McDermitt, the widowed eldest sister, is known for her sense of responsibility and stern personality. Mary Margaret Donovan is a spinster who lives with younger sister Alice Monahan and her husband Walter, who have no children. In the second act, Mary Margaret uses a wheelchair and has a slight speech impediment due to a stroke. Nora Hiller is an easy-going woman devoted to her husband Lawrence and their children. Connie Emerson is always quick with a wisecrack. Lil Carmody is a free spirit who plays piano, and Betsy Bailey is the youngest, a melancholy married woman with two children who is struggling to find her own identity.

In his review for "The New York Times", Frank Rich observed, "This synthetic play ... has not so much been written as mechanically mapped out according to an open-and-shut formula. The exposition of each character's one or two stereotypical traits is accomplished by the photographer's rapid-fire journalistic questions in the opening scene; then the author slowly rolls out the skeleton in each sister's closet. Complexities of emotion and dramatic structure are neatly avoided by keeping all the menfolk offstage ... Although the evening runs less than two hours, most of it is padding designed to space out the delayed plot revelations. There is plenty of gratuitous nostalgia ... as well as an extremely tedious intrafamily talent contest performed after intermission."

The Octette Bridge Club
By: P.J. Barry
Directed by: Tom Moore
Presented by: Kenneth Waissman and Lou Kramer, in association with MTM Enterprises Inc.
At the Music Box Theatre,  239 W. 45th St.,  New York,  NY.

Gisela Caldwell ..... Betsy (Mrs. Daniel Bailey)
Peggy Cass ......... Lil (Mrs. Peter Carmody)
Lois De Banzie ..... Alice (Mrs. Walter Monahan)
Elizabeth Franz .... Nora (Mrs. Lawrence Hiller)
Bette Henritze ..... Mary (Margaret Donavan)
Elizabeth Huddle ... Ann (Mrs. John Conroy)
Nancy Marchand ... Connie (Mrs. David Emerson)
Anne Pitoniak ...... Martha (Mrs. Michael McDermitt)
Nick Kaledin ........ Robert Foster (the photographer)

William Fichtner (Robert Foster),   Jen Jones (Connie, Lil, Martha, Mary),   Ruth Livingston (Alice, Ann, Mary, Nora).