Posted in classic, drama, May-December romance, movie with Kim Novak & Frederic March, orig Bway w Edward G. Robinson & Gena Rowlands, Paddy Chayefsky, TV w EG Marshall & Eva Marie Saint

Isn’t It Romantic: Paddy Chayefsky’s Look At Love

Is there anything sweeter than romance, or more prone to meddling?

Lillian (Melissa Miller) and her husband Jack (Todd Bartels) with Jerry (Jonahan Hadary) and his sister Evelyn (Denise Lute) first hear Jerry’s news in “Middle of the Night” by Paddy Chayefsky, directed by Jonathan Silverstein at the Keen Theatre through March 29th. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Family and friends impede on the happiness in the May-December romance at the heart of “Middle of the Night.” Paddy Chayefsky’s play at the Keen Company under Jonathan Silverstein’s direction at Theatre Row through March 29th,  is in its first revival since a Broadway run (and national tour) in the mid 1950s.

 Jerry (Jonahan Hadary) and Betty (Nicole Lowrance) in “Middle of the Night” by Paddy Chayefsky, directed by Jonathan Silverstein at the Keen Theatre through March 29th. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

“Middle of the Night” has a fine pedigree, all penned by Chayefsky. It started out as a television for the inaugural show of the seventh season of he Philco Television Playhouse where it starred E.G. Marshall and Eva Marie Saint. It then relocated in 1956 to Broadway where it starred Edward G. Robinson and Gena Rowlands, and went on to star Kim Novak and Frederic March in the Columbia Pictures version in 1959.

In “Middle of the Night,” an aging garment Manufacturer, Jerry Kingsley (Jonathan Hadary) is seduced by loneliness and the charms of the Girl from his plant, Betty Preisser (Nicolde Lowrance) into a romance he is not sure is wise. His family, with the exception of his son-in-law, Jack (Todd Bartels) — his stern sister Eveylyn (Denise Lute) and his daughter Lillian (Mellisa Miller)– try to dissuade him from continuing the affair.

On Betty’s side the objections are even louder. She is only 24 to his 53, and her mother, Mrs. Mueller (Amelia Campbell) doesn’t understand why Betty would want to divorce her husband, George (Todd Bartells again) in order to marry an old man. Betty’s friend Marilyn (Melissa Miller in the role) is equally puzzled and disapproving.

Mrs. Mueller (Amelia Campbell) and Betty (Nicole Lowrance) in “Middle of the Night” directed by Jonathan Silverstein for the Keen through March 29th. Photo by Carol Rosegg. 

The allure of Paddy Chayefsky’s slice-of-life drama is abundantly on display in this heart-warming Keen production. The cast are splendid, with Jonathan Hadary and Nicole Lowrance in especially fine form.

Betty (Nicole Lowrance) and Jerry (Jonathan Hadary) embrace in a scene from Chayefsky’s “Middle of the Night” directed by Jonathan Silverstein for Keen Company at Theatre Row through March 29th. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

To learn more about “Middle of the Night,” please visit the Keen Company website.

Author:

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