The Marco Players season is coming to an end with a final production of “Tribute” written by Bernard Slade. The play appeared on Broadway with Jack Lemmon in the starring role as Scottie Templeton. It was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Critics Award. Made into a film in 1980, it was also nominated for an Oscar.
According to Director Beverly Dahlstrom, the story is about a Renaissance man who was an actor but is now a second-rate press agent, a joke teller full of laughs on the outside and terribly depressed on the inside, and yet loved by everybody except his estranged son, Judd.
He must finally confront himself about his mistakes when he finds out he is terminally ill. Scotty realizes his shortcomings and tries desperately to reconcile with Judd before it’s too late. But how can his son love a father who practically abandoned him when he was a child and now wants to be forgiven?
“The play is about reconnecting relationships and the pleasant and unpleasant things that happen in relationships. It’s about love and forgiveness. And there’s a surprise in the play which I will not divulge at this time,” Dahlstrom stated.
She also mentioned that the Players are going to try something new technically for this play that they have never done before.
“It’s a scrim — a curtain that you can moderately see through that can show transitions in time. The lights come up behind the curtain, and as the people on the apron are finished talking, the scrim goes up until you step into not the evening of the tribute but what happened a week before or days before or hours before,” Dahlstrom explained.
Designed by Richard Shanahan, Dahlstrom stated that the Players are indebted to him. This new technique of lighting will give them the opportunity to present this play in a little bit different fashion.
“It’s more challenging to the technical people. The play is really something different than we’ve done before. It’s about serious life issues and a drama-comedy in a lot of ways,” she continued.
Production Manager Lori Lucas said the actors have worked rally hard.
“We’ve had such success with weekend comedies and we’d like everybody to come out and see this new venture.”
She also said the set is art deco, set in the 1960s and 1970s era. The change of scenery will be with the scrim. However, they are still in need of several things if anyone cares to lend them the following from that period: furniture, a piano, table, and bar. Just call 642-7270.
The tribute itself takes place in a New York City theater. Seven actors who have been with the Players in several productions have been cast, such as Cathy O’Brien, Joe Kelly, Dan Kimball, Katherine Ebaugh, and Mai Puccio. The newest additions are Peter Galluzzo and Kristina Wiedermann.
Galluzzo has no experience in acting he said. He has been doing makeup and hairdo for the Players’ other productions. However, he was asked to read for “Tribute” and was cast. Galluzzo works for Rick’s Island Salon and will also continue doing hair and makeup for this production.
Kristina Wiedermann is new to community theater and thespian terms. This is her first time ever in a play of this sort she said.
“I always wanted to be involved and I’m very challenged with this. I thought this would be easy for me and easy to deliver lines. But I find it difficult to say things that aren’t true.”
She certainly did fine in the rehearsal, memorizing her lines quite well.
The Players will have a picture of Jack Lemmon when he opened on Broadway that will be put in the theater’s window.
The play will run from April 9 through April 27. Shows are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m.
Box office hours at the Marco Players Theater are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. or call for tickets at 642-7270. Individual tickets are $20.
The Marco Players Theater is located in the Town Center Mall.