Nyack Village Theatre Does Maxwell Anderson’s “Key Largo”

Jay Gable Mercedes Kent Rhea Vogel Ulises Arroyo Katie Segal Peter Elfant in Key Largo
Jay Gable Mercedes Kent Rhea Vogel Ulises Arroyo Katie Segal Peter Elfant in Key Largo

Rockland’s own Maxwell Anderson given his due in Nyack

BY GEORGE J. DACRE

PHOTOS BY CAROLYN MAGNANI

The cast worked hard at this production put on at the Nyack Village Theatre’s upstairs studio at 94 Main Street and the result is a very well done presentation of the saga of “Key Largo” with all of its twists, tense moments and drama.

Producer/Director Richard Quinn emphasises that this is not the movie version, but is the original 1939 script written by Maxwell Anderson the longtime resident of South Mountain Road, New City who brought fame to Rockland County with “Key Largo” and “Hi Tor.” An adept cast reenacts the story of the returning Spanish American war vet to Key Largo, where he encounters mobster gamblers and gets into a fight for his life.

Jeff Golda (King), who in real life is a owner of a real estate appraisal firm in Pearl River, is the returning war veteran who finds himself involved with a murder, gamblers who flash their guns quickly, a blind proprietor of a Key Largo hotel and finally a shootout with the villlain of the piece, mobster leader Murillo, played by Peter Elfant who says in private life he worked with Ollie North in Latin America and Roger Ailes at Fox among other things.

Murillo and his cohorts Corky, played by Joe Remy and Gage, played by Ullses Arroyo, run a roulette wheel and fleece tourists and as Murillo says it is all about money. D’Alcala, the blind man, played by John Bale, cannot do much to stop them and when Murilla kills a foreman of a work crew and tries to blame it on Indian John Horn, played by Mike DeLuca, the plot thickens.

George Dacre and Richard Quinn
George Dacre and Richard Quinn

Enter Sherriff Gash, played by Nick Byrne, to investigate the murder and what is happening with Murillo, King and D’Alcala and the tension builds into a climatic end including a shootout. Sonya Harum is Alegre, the blind man’s daughter who tries to intervene in the mess to no avail. King has his motive for returning to Key Largo and that is to find himself after rejection everywhere he went as a veteran of the war.

Maxwell Anderson puts it altogether in an intriguing scenario that keeps you wondering what will happen next and his keen intellect is able to dissect the minds of his characters to establish a somewhat disturbing situation.

This effort by the Nyack Village Theater players was well worth seeing. I rate “Key Largo” at the Nyack Village Theater Three Stars Out of Four.