'House for Sale' brings laughs, tears to theater stage

by SOPHIE KRUSE | reporter Published:

Laughs and tears will be found at Western Reserve Playhouse's production of 'House for Sale.'

'House for Sale' was written by Ron Hill, an Ohio native from a small town near Tiffin, and directed by Pat Robertell-Hudson and William Morgan.

Taking place in the summer of 1956, 'House for Sale' is the tale of Glen Martin, played by Kent resident Sid Freeman. Glen is a 70-something year old widower who lives alone in the house he bought with his wife long ago. His daughter Helen (played by Stow resident Keri Lambert,) is desperately wanting him to move in with her and her husband.

Glen is stubbornly against it, and finds a different solution to his problem of living alone: he will find a roommate. He has Gary (played by Anthony Lindo), his delivery boy from Sankey's, the local grocery store, hang up a flier. Many different people show up, but no one to Gary's liking. Kate (played by April Needham) is a talkative college girl. Chuck (played by Charles Leonard) is a man that drinks too much and is in the middle of a dispute with his wife. Fanny Moss (played by Patricia Walocko) is insistent that Glen looks like her third husband, even though she's only been married twice. The last straggler is Sylvia (played by Cuyahoga Fall's Annie Meyer-Steinheiser), a grumpy woman who isn't happy that the room for rent is up the stairs.

To add to the chaos in Glen's living room, his neighbor and best friend Max (played by Mike Groom) shows up dressed in a fake beard to help Glen decide.

Glen decides this isn't the route he wants to go, and takes a more serious side when deciding whether he wants to leave his home. His biggest fear is that by leaving the house, he'll also leave all the memories of his wife. He consults her photos when he's deliberating, and even talks to her in a dream. She tells him that she'll always be with him no matter where he goes.

There are two different endings to the play. A different one may be used on different nights, and each are a very different outcome for Glen.

Hill said he was inspired to write this play after seeing an older man sitting on his porch with a 'for sale' sign in his yard. "Why would he sell his house at that age and where would he go?" he said.

Many of the names in the play are significant parts of Hill's life, said the playwright. Faye is the name of his grandmother. Goodsell, the last name of the realtor convincing Glen, is the name of the street where Hill grew up. Gary was his friend who often said "if 'ifs and buts' were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas," which is one of Glen's key phrases throughout the play. Sankey's was a grocery story where he bought penny candy growing up.

After seeing many renditions of this play, Hill said he was very impressed with this performance. "I thought it was very good and very creative, there were things that I didn't write that they put in. I liked all the music choices and the little ditties that Glen sang."

Freeman began performing at Western Reserve Playhouse a few years ago, and particularly enjoyed his role as Glen. "I really enjoyed the play that Mr. Hill wrote. Glen is a really nice role."

Walocko also enjoyed the production. "What a great play to be with. Everyone is so talented. I really liked my part, too."

Ticket information

'House for Sale' is the first play that Hill wrote. His next project is called 'Gone Fishin','' which will premiere in readers' theaters in the fall.

'House for Sale' will be showing June 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. at Western Reserve Playhouse, 3326 Everett Road on the Bath and Richfield line. Adult tickets for 'House for Sale' are $12, and seniors and students are $10. For reservations, call 330-620-7314.

Next on stage

Western Reserve Playhouse will next produce the musical "Applause," which will run July 26 through Aug. 17.

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