New Jewish Theatre celebrates the holidays with ‘Tally’s Folly’

Meghan Maguire and Shaun Sheley

The New Jewish Theatre presents Lanford Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning “Talley’s Folly” Dec. 6-23 at the Wool Studio Theatre, 2 Millstone Campus Drive in Creve Coeur.

“Talley’s Folly” tells the story of one night in the lives of two unlikely sweethearts, Matt Friedman and Sally Talley. This sweet, funny and heart-warming play is set in a dilapidated Victorian boathouse on the Talley farm in Lebanon, Mo. on the Fourth of July in 1944.

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Matt, a Jewish accountant from St. Louis and the ultimate outsider in town, has done his best to lose his European accent. But the accent lingers. Sally is the daughter of a prominent Lebanon family whose marriage prospects have dimmed considerably. She does her best to put a brave face on things — for the wounded war vets she tends to in the hospital in Springfield — but at home, she is the black sheep, the family’s disappointment. Both of them have their own secrets and their own ways of protecting themselves from life’s many disappointments.

Matt’s arrival at the Talley homestead this warm July night has created quite a stir in Sally’s conservative Protestant household, where a Jewish man is not welcomed easily, especially when his intentions are to court their daughter, 11 years younger than he.

Ultimately, these are two lonely people in a lonely old place. Each has built a shell of protection around them. How they find each other and navigate the shoals of cultural prejudice and intolerance brings us a story of great warmth, humor and belonging.

Directed by Deanna Jent, it features Meghan Maguire as Sally and Shaun Sheley as Matt. For tickets and information, call 314-442-3283 or go to