Talley’s Folly

By Lanford Wilson. This play won Wilson the Pulitzer in 1980. There are only two characters: Mike, a 42 year old Jewish accountant, and Sally Talley, a 31 year old nurse, and their romance in 1940’s Missouri. It’s a gem of scenewriting — one long scene in which Mike woos Sally, and each of them is forced to reveal a secret in order to break the eggshells they had built around their lives. I didn’t get bored for one minute, and then suddenly the play was over, and I put it down and smiled. There aren’t many plays I can read which make me feel content afterwards, but this one felt “just right.” He told his story, I learned things about people and humanity, and love, and that was what the play was about. No real “loose ends” on the first reading. I suppose if I look at it again I’ll see more, but I don’t want to ruin the moment now.

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