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‘Talley’s Folly’ at Cumming Playhouse

by Caitlyn Walters

October 29, 2013

Haley Fowler as "Sally Talley" and Joel Altherr as "Matt Friedman" talk about their families. CAITLYN WALTERS/Staff.
Joel Altherr, "Matt," acts out his aggressions.CAITLYN WALTERS/Staff.
CUMMING, Ga. – Lanford Wilson's Pulitzer Prize winner "Talley's Folly" hits the stage in Cumming until Nov. 3.

The two cast members of this remarkably written play battle the odds of their upbringings to give up to love at the Cumming Playhouse, 101 School Street.

Director Gabriel Russo said it resembles moments in movies like "Patch Adams" where he has "the capacity to make you laugh and cry at the same time."

"It's a weird emotional manipulation," Russo said. "This show does it better than any other."

Joel Altherr plays Matt Friedman, a Jewish accountant from St. Louis, the ultimate outsider in Missouri 1944. He has done his best to lose his accent, but it still lingers.

He arrives in Lebanon, Mo., to court Sally Talley, played by Haley Fowler.

Talley is the daughter of a prominent family whose marriage prospects have dimmed considerably, but she does her best to put on a brave face for the wounded war vets she tends to in the hospital in Springfield.

Talley shows no interest in Matt and even wants him off the Talley property, but Matt doesn't take no for an answer.

Altherr said he can see characteristics of himself inside Friedman and is honored to act in such a well-written play.

The 90-minute play has two characters.

"But I think we have good chemistry," Altherr said. "We are both going to challenge each other."

Russo said the takeaway feeling the audience will leave with is that "there is somebody for everybody."

For more ticket information, visit