SOMERS POINT – Cape May’s award-winning playwright Bill Sterritt brings his holiday-themed play “Magic Flowers” to his Somers Point performance space – Studio;Space – for four weekends beginning Friday, Nov. 26, and running through Dec. 19.
“Magic Flowers” is a story about holiday magic, love and moving beyond stereotypes to see someone’s true self. It revolves around Ethel Pahoni, a plain and lonely advertising copywriter who is prepared to spend another Christmas Eve alone with just a bottle of cheap Burgundy to curl up with. On the way home Ethel, played by Evie Brandford-Altsher, is approached by a homeless man (a brief cameo by Sterritt) who sells her some “magic” flowers that, he claims, are sure to bring her love.
Once home, Ethel’s suave and good-looking co-worker Ralph Adams, portrayed by Dave Polgar, unexpectedly stops by. Unlike all of the other women in their office, Ethel is not at all enamored with handsome Ralph, at least that was the case before she bought the mysterious magic flowers.
“‘Magic Flowers’ is a short and sweet comedic love story that takes place at Christmas, which can be a very lonely time of year for many people,” Sterritt said. “But in true Christmas fashion, a miracle occurs, which ultimately brings about a happy ending.”
Both Brandford-Altsher and Polgar have been acting for more than a decade. Brandford-Altsher trained at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, while Polgar – a Philly native presently living in Jersey City – first trained with Penn and Jared Reed at The Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley, Pennsylvania, and is currently a student of George Gallagher and the Harold Guskin approach.
Brandford-Altsher, who has performed in shows such as “Footloose,” “A Chorus Line” and “Peter and the Wolf,” finds “Magic Flowers” to be “funny and touching.”
“It’s a great show for Christmas fans and Scrooges alike,” she said. “It’s about two people who suddenly see each other in a new light, with more compassion and less judgment than before.”
Polgar’s work has ranged from Igor in “Frankenstein Rocks” to real-life professional football player Jim Taylor in “Lombardi.”
After just the first week of rehearsal Polgar said, “’Magic Flowers’ has been nothing short of a blast to work on. Bill and Evie are on top of their game and having as much fun as I am.”
Born and raised in Cape May, Sterritt spent the majority of his life in Los Angeles, returning to South Jersey only a few years ago. He has been producing shows and Fringe Festivals through his production company SPQR Stage ever since. His Studio;Space opened this summer in Somers Point, and is available to all types of performances from straight plays and concerts to standup comedy and trivia nights.
“Magic Flowers” is a 30-minute-long, two-act play which, according to Sterritt, is the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
“Take some time out from this crazy season and see our show,” he said. “Its themes of love and loneliness are timeless, but it’s packaged in a quick, half-hour escape from the holiday noise.”
“Magic Flowers” runs on the following times and dates:
8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26
5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27
2 and 5 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 4, 11, 18
12:30 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12, 19.
Tickets are $10 at the door (cash only) or can be purchased in advance at Eventbrite.com. Studio;Space is at 112 Woodland Ave. in Somers Point. More information can be found at StudioSpaceSPNJ.com or Facebook.com/spqrstagesco. Reservations can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 323-793-2153.