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Special Events, Cultural District Events, Events in Downtown Shelburne Falls, Events in Shelburne, Entertainment

Later Life
Friday, September 15, 2017, 07:00pm

“Later Life” by A. R. Gurney—a comedy about a middle-aged couple in Boston finding love and contemplating taking a chance—is making its first local appearance in many years Sept. 15, 16, 17, 22 and 23 at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls.

“It’s a funny and sweet story about a couple who meet at a party in Boston in 1992 and find they have a little bit of a shared history,” said Jackie Walsh, producer of the show and the founder of Footlights at the Falls.  

Austin: “Have we met?”
Ruth: “We have.”
Austin: “When?”
Ruth: “Think back.”
Austin: “To when?”
Ruth: “Just think.”

On a terrace overlooking Boston Harbor, Austin and Ruth try to recall their first meeting and start getting to know each other again.  Five men and five women, each with their own quirks, take turns coming out on the balcony to interrupt the couple with ponderings about food, Boston and love.  

Shows happen at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15, Saturday, Sept. 16, Friday, Sept. 22 and Saturday, Sept. 23.  A 2 p.m. matinee will be on Sunday, Sept. 17.  Tickets are $12 for all shows except the matinee, which is $6.  Tickets may be reserved at and bought at the door.

Kim Overtree of Northampton directs. She is a founder of Ghost Light Theater and has directed plays at Amherst Leisure Services.  Three of the four actors are from Shelburne and Buckland, including Marc Kaufmann of Buckland as the tamped-down Austin, Jackie Walsh of Shelburne as the live-life-to-the-fullest Ruth, and Caroline Ludvik-Johnson of Buckland as the party’s hostess, a Southern transplant, and three other memorable characters.  John Iverson of Bernardson plays a man trying to kick a habit he loves, a man dragging his wife to retirement in Florida, and others.  

Between them, the actors have been in nearly 50 local shows.

The group’s “Dixie Swim Club” marked the return of theater to Memorial Hall last year after a 15-year hiatus.

West County Players put on plays in the hall in the 1990s and early 2000s, but very few plays have happened there since then.

The hall, built in 1898, was traditionally the center of entertainment for western Franklin County.  It once hosted variety shows, dances, celebrations, and other community events.  In the 30s and 40s, it was an around-the-week movie theater.  Then it sat unused for decades. Nowadays, it hosts Pothole Pictures and the Metropolitan Opera rebroadcasts.

Grants from local cultural councils are supporting the production of “Later Life.”

Location Memorial Hall, 51 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA
Tickets are $12 for all shows except the matinee, which is $6. Tickets may be reserved at and bought at the door.