BY GEORGE J. DACRE
A combination of young acting talent and professional actors plus a great script by author/director Samuel Harps resulted in a very nice production Saturday night at the Central Presbyterian Church auditorium in Haverstraw.
The play is the story of Sophia Polikoff coming back to the home she and her husband Joseph lived in on Lombard Street, and where he died and was buried in the yard next to a beautiful tree. Sophia, portrayed by actress Suzanne DuCharme, is befriended by the daughter of the couple who now live in the house, Genevieve Torres, played by 15-year-old Samantha Mercado.
Genevieve is told by Sophia that she wants to be buried in the yard next to her husband. She is sympathetic but her mother Joselyn and her father Thomas want want no part of it and Thomas says the tree must be cut down because it is ruining the pipes and causing plumbing probems in their home. Genevieve and her young friends Matilda (Kelcie McNamara) and Rona (Mary Margeret Galvin) play in a treehouse and join forces to try to get the Torres family to save the tree and allow Sophia, when she dies, to be buried in the yard next to her husband.
Ultimately, the Torres’s invite Sophia to dinner in the house and Thomas Torres says he has to stand by his decision to cut the tree down but the participants get to know each other better and Sophia may ultimately get her wish. Sophia has conversations with her late husband as he appears to her (actor Lou Morris plays the husband) and the love between them is evident and strong.
Finally, the Torres relent and agree to not cut down the 200-year-old tree, the pipes are rerouted, and a new tree is planted with Sophia’s ashes buried under it.
Something is happening here in North Rockland with the Haverstraw Youth Theatre. The presentation of “The Tree On Lombard Street” and a previous production of “Buried Child” were well done and greater things will emerge from the Youth Theatre and
Shades Repertory. Harps is getting more support from the community and the businesses and we will be be reporting on the progress. We rate “The Tree On Lombard Street” Two Out of Four Stars.”
June 16 – “In The Shades” Poet’s Cafe with Open Mic.
June 23 – Dinner and a Movie “The Sunset Limit” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Tommie Lee Jones.
June 29 – New Play Reading Series “Believing Is Seeing” by Joe McDonald.
July 26 – Summer One Act Festival.
Information at www.shadesrep.com or 845-675-8044.