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Halpern and Johnson

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George Walker: The Jewish Theatre of Bloomington, Indiana’s only Jewish Theatre presents Halpern and Johnson by Lionel Goldstein. It’s directed by Dale McFadden and stars Ken Farrell and Gerard Pauwels. They by the way, played this is in 2016.

It’ll be on Thursday at 7:30 and Saturday at 7:30 and Sunday at two. On Saturday director Dale McFadden and the actors Ken Farrell and Gerard Pauwels. There’ll be a talk back after the matinee on     Sunday with playwright Lionel Goldstein from the UK moderated by Darrell Stone.

I’m George Walker and our guest is the director Dale McFadden. Halpern and Johnson, Halpern is an elderly working-class Jewish widower and Ernest Johnson, a retired accountant. At the funeral of his wife, Florence, Mr. Halpern meets Mr. Johnson, who surprises him with the disclosure that he and Florence had maintained a close friendship for the last forty years.

Dale McFadden: Unpacked is a good word, because there is a lot to unpack. It’s definitely the story of two men who had a relationship with Florence, or Flo. They called her by a different name at the site of her grave. And of course we learn at the course of the action. That the husband, Halpern didn’t know anything about the meetings between Johnson over a period. Now, here’s the thing. One man loves her deeply and the other man loves her to the degree that he can. The man who loves her deeply is not the man married to her. The man married to her does the best he can. And there are other revelations about the past, of both of the men. And they ultimately come to some self-realizations about their own relationship to love. What they wanted in life. And they’ll have to deal with those questions far beyond the death of Florence or Flo. That’s what makes it fascinating, especially when we find out in the second act. And especially as they continue to meet each other after the death of Florence, or Flo. And this is a really good two-character play, works on the stage and I think it will work well in zoom. And its humorous, involving and insightful, as any good play should be.

George: What happens in the second act, If I may ask?

Dale: Well, you will find out that Halpern also has a past that does not involve he wife.  It involves another woman, one that I’ve been calling in rehearsal Mademoiselle X. And Halpern finds out that, that he also continued to look for love in his life. The good news is Johnson found the love in his life, The other news is he wasn’t able to marry her. It seems that Florence, or Flo at the end of the day was smarter than the two of them-combined and they have to realize that she was smarter than they were making her out to be. And now they have to live with the consequences of their actions for the rest of their lives, and its not a depressing thing . There’s still a mystery to themselves. And I think the audience will understand that also.

George: So Halpern and Johnson, a play by Lionel Goldstein, directed by Dale McFadden, starring Ken Farrell and Gerard Pauwels. It opens on Thursday, October 7 at 7:30, Saturday at 9 at 7:30, Sunday at two in the afternoon. They’ll be a talk back on Saturday with director Dale McFadden and the actors Ken Farrell and Gerard Pauwels and they’ll be a talk back after the matinee on Sunday October 10th   with playwright Lionel Goldstein, who’ll be joining us for the show and the talk back, a special event moderated by Darrell Stone.            

Halpern and Johnson meet for the first time at the grave site of Florence and Flo!
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