Westport Community Theatre Presents Staged Readings Of F. Scott Fitzgerald's THE VEGETABLE
F. Scott Fitzgerald In Westport this spring celebrates two of the town's famous former residents, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who lived in Westport for a time as newlyweds. The Westport Historical Society joined with Harbor Watch to present a lecture and walking tour of Fitzgerald's Westport and a "tastefully risqué" evening, "Gatsby's Return," at The Inn at Longshore on April 27. On May 18 and 19, Westport Community Theater will offer staged readings of The Vegetable, Fitzgerald's only produced play, as a continuation of the festivities.
Fitzgerald's play tells the story of a railroad office worker who dreams of becoming a postman...or the president of the United States. Act II shows us what kind of President he makes when transported to the White House, and Act III offers a happier ending. The script shows the hand of an enthusiast who doesn't want to leave anything out, but also the fine observing eye and ear that made the characters and dialogue in his novels so engaging and alive. Reviews of a 1923 production of The Vegetable in Minnesota said the play "strikes off most of the glaring idiocies of which, within the last six years, our country has been guilty. And it does it capitally, in short witty sentences, in excoriating situations" (St. Paul Daily News); The Minnesota Daily Star called it "an astonishingly readable play, and incidentally, may be expected to jazz things up quite a bit for the amateur stage." It is his only excursion into political satire, and he might be surprised at how well we can see our own times in his seedy version of the Jazz Age and the American Dream.
Performing in The Vegetable are an array of actors beloved of Westport Community Theatre audiences, including John Bachelder, Deborah Burke, John Fatteross, Jonathan Jacobson, Ann Kinner, Sam Mink, P.J. Morello, Jeff Pliskin, and David Victor. Ruth Anne Baumgartner directs. Readings are Saturday, May 18 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 19 at 2:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served; admission is free but reservations are encouraged (203-226-1983), and donations to the theater and to the Westport Historical Society are welcome.
Authors and documentarians Richard Webb and Robert Steven Williams, creators of the upcoming documentary film Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story, are participants in the Fitzgerald celebrations. Charles Scribner's Sons is the publisher and the owner of the play's rights, and our reading is with the generous blessing of Charles Scribner III, the current head of the firm.
Westport Community Theatre is located at the Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue.