It was the Bourbon talking

Milford. Two old friends reminisce about their friendship in the Sam Shepard play “Ages of the Moon” at the Milford Theater. The play will be performed twice more on Aug. 20 and 21.

| 15 Aug 2022 | 05:42

The two main characters in this Sam Shepard play, Byron (John Klemeyer) and Ames (Roy Wilbur), sit on Ames’ dilapidated porch in the country watching the eclipse of the moon on a summer’s night, as they sip on serial glasses of bourbon. These old friends reflect on their lives, marital meltdowns, comradery, and competition.

As they talk, their emotions begin to be laid bare and their voices build to a crescendo with frustration and violence as they keep drinking. The subtle way in which their intonation and body language reflect their lonely desperation- building with each refilled glass of bourbon -is not only a tribute to their acting, but also a reflection of the insightful direction of Beth Kelley, producer, director, and head of the Side of the Road Theater Company.

Kelley credited the actors’ understanding of Shepard’s work. She said, “The actors are amazing. Their understanding of Shepard’s words makes these characters loveable in spite of their many quirks.”

The emotions that they portrayed were clearly communicated to the audience, who sat in rapt attention, probably taking stock of their own lives.

And yet, despite all of this introspection, there were some funny bits, too. Both Ames and Byron try to get the old fan working on the porch. They try everything, but nothing works. Finally, when Ames shoots off a shotgun in a fit of temper, the fan instantly starts working.

This little bit of stage business gives some comic relief to the scene, and the audience burst into laughter. Actually, the fan was being controlled by Abott Finkel, technical director of the Milford Theater. He was able to manipulate the fan and make it start, stop, and drop, all from the control room.

“The fan is like a third character- with its own thing,” said Finkel. He also built the set which he purposely made slightly smaller than normal to keep the emphasis on Ames and Byron.

The audience reaction was positive. Aggie Molnar and Eliott Rosoff came up from the city just to see this play and they said, “It was wonderful. We were really touched by the acting.”

Mary Jane Baer who came from Cresco said, “The actors were terrific. It was a beautiful production with so many moving moments.”

Beth O’Neil, Artistic Director of the theater said, ““I am thrilled to have Beth Kelley back at the theater with another brilliant production. Wonderful to see our patrons enjoying an end of summer play.”

Two more performances of “Ages of the Moon” will be on Saturday, August 20, at 7p.m., and Sunday, August 21, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at:
As they talk, their emotions begin to be laid bare and their voices build to a crescendo with frustration and violence as they keep drinking.