Sunday, October 25, 2015

SCOTT AND HEM at The Falcon in Toluca Lake

Playwright Mark St. Germain’s take on what a meeting between old pals Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald might have been like in the hey day of Hollywood circa 1937 ran into a slight glitch opening night.  Adam J. Harrington, the original actor to play Scott, was replaced by understudy Thomas Owen.  St. Germain’s play itself on Francios-Pierre Couture’s beautiful adobe set struggles with a sense of true purpose. The actors, though reciting well and embodying some essence of these two famous writers, only hit their marks if you buy their story. 
Ty Mayberry, Jackie Seiden, Thomas Owen
Fitzgerald is squirrled away in an apartment at the infamous Garden of Allah and is all watched over by the gorgeous Eve Montaigne (gorgeous Jackie Seiden) who is on hand to be his assistant as well as his guardian to prevent him from lapsing into his cups, preventing him from finishing a screenplay.  We learn that if Scott doesn’t come up with the goods, it’s curtains for him as well as for Ms Montaigne.  It’s an odd situation for the Fourth of July at a notorious hot spot where orgies and other shenanigans going on were legend.

Hemingway enters. Rather, in bursts handsome Ty Mayberry, mid thirties; sui generis.  Mayberry captures the swagger and even the look, but after consuming two full fifths of alcohol by the end of the full length one act, he is still ramrod straight and unchanged from the moment he enters and attempts to seduce Ms Montaigne.  All the while Hem’s attempt to lure Scott back to drink has an ulterior motive.  The killer complications of these two most famous contributors to the American literary scene swing to Scott’s need to institutionalize Zelda; resist the temptation to abandon his full nine days of sobriety and finish this script.. Or, else!

Energy rises on stage when Seiden sweeps in to monitor the goings on and fend off Hemingway’s advances.  Otherwise, it’s pretty much a text book rendering of a “what if” that is a play that leaves more questions wanting than answered.

By Mark St. Germain
The Falcon Theatre
4252 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505
Through November 15, 2015
Tickets and Information:
818 955 8101

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