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Theater Review: A Terrific Piece Of Theater On Brookfield Stage



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BROOKFIELD - The thrill of the chase, targeting, trampling, and capturing the prey is what lies at the core of Jerry Sterner's Other People's Money, now in performance at the Brookfield Theatre For the Arts. The story is a solid portrayal of the ease and guile with which a corporate overthrow can be accomplished.

Lawrence Garfinkle (played by Al Bhatt), a corporate raider with New England Wire and Cable Company in his cross hairs, seems a complex mishmash of heartless, greedy, and sensible. He cares not a whit for the disruption of the fragile economy in the small city of Providence, R.I., as a result of this loss.

Mr Garfinkle's counterpart, Andrew "Jorgy" Jorgensen (David Halliwell), plays the aging heir to his father's business. He sees New England Wire and Cable as an enduring institution on which his city depends.

The newish president of the company, William Coles (Rick Haylon), frets as he sees the raid as inevitable and tries desperately to secure his financial future before the train wreck. Jorgy's adoring and loyal secretary Bea Sullivan (Monica O'Brien), stands by her man while his life's work unravels.

In an interesting turn, Bea has a troubled history with her daughter Kate (Gillian Holt Bailey), which while not fully fleshed out in the play, is a source of substantial rancor between the two of them. Apparently Bea has had some type of affair with Jorgy and Kate is angry about the way her father has been treated. Whatever the details it was enough for discord, yet when push comes to shove, Bea calls in Kate, a corporate attorney whose star is on the rise, to help them block Mr Garfinkle's attack.

There is much back and forth, conniving and cajoling that goes on between all the players to prevent the takeover of New England Wire and Cable or, for Mr Garfinkle, to make it happen. The swirling of conferences and conversations that take place in different cities and other locations is made clear due to the excellent staging by director Don Bovingloh. The scenes, short and long, move easily with minimal set changes. The pacing and flow of this piece is superb, which is necessary to impart the urgency, fear, and ambition of the characters.

Mr Bhatt plays his pushy, crass yet insightful and intelligent corporate raider to perfection. He is both charming and offensive. He masters this role.

As the rambling, bumbling Jorgy, Mr Halliwell is sweet and naive. He is supported by his devoted assistant, played by Monica O'Brien whose genuine character is at times a protective mother hen and a soulmate.

As company president and newcomer, Mr Haylon nicely pulls of the dual image of family man and man who will do anything to protect his status. As the object of desire and opposing counsel of Garfinkle, Gillian Holt Bailey gives an authentic performance of a powerful woman both attracted and repelled by greed and the games people play.

There is much sharp humor that is delivered superbly, with clipped dialogue and seductive intent. Other People's Money is an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable play, which has been cast and performed perfectly. I highly recommend covering your options, hedging your bets, and getting out to see this terrific piece of theater.

Performances continue through May 12: Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm, and Sunday, May 6, at 2 pm.Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 for students, and available at the box office or online at BrookfieldTheatre.org.

The Brookfield Theatre for the Arts, at 184 Whisconier Road (Route 25, behind Brookfield Library), can also be reached for additional information at 203-775-0023.

[naviga:img class="aligncenter wp-image-317971" src="https://newtownbee.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/other-peoples-money-at-Brookfield-Bhatt-Haylon-OBrien-Halliwell-Bailey.jpg" alt="other people's money at Brookfield -- Bhatt, Haylon, O'Brien, Halliwell & Bailey" width="800" height="601" /]

From left is corporate raider Lawrence Garfinkle (Al Bhatt), New England Wire and Cable President William Coles (Rick Haylon), Bea Sullivan (Monica O'Brien), Andrew Jorgenson (David Halliwell), and Kate Sullivan (Gillian Holt Bailey) in a scene from Other People's Money, currently in production at Brookfield Theatre.

-Stephen Cihanek photo

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