SEPARATE TABLES by Carol Kaufman Segal
Separate Tables is a play written as two one acts by British Playwright Terrance Rattigan, Rattigan adapted it into a film that was made in 1958 featuring very popular stars at the time, Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Burt Lancaster, and Wendy Hiller. David Niven won the Academy Award that year for Best Actor, and Wendy Hiller won for Best Supporting Actress. The movie also received nominations in several other categories.
Theatre 40 is bringing the original play back to life in Beverly Hills with a very refined production under the direction of the venerable director, Jules Aaron. The play takes place at the Beauregard Hotel in Bournemouth (90 miles southwest of London) in 1958. We see the dining room with separate tables set up for the guests (a scrumptious set by Jeff J. Rack that revolves into a hotel lounge). Most of the guests are regular patrons of the hotel.
Act I: Miss Cooper (Diana Angelina) is the hotel manager who is romantically involved with a scalawag, Mr. Malcolm (Adrian Neil) who is an alcoholic and had spent time in prison for attacking his wife. It appears that trouble will be brewing when ex wife, Ann Shankland (Susan Priver), suddenly shows up, threatening the relationship between Miss Cooper and Mr. Malcolm when the old flame rekindles. Leave it to the most benevolent person, Miss Cooper, to fan the flame.
Other guests in the hotel include a young couple, Jean Stratton (Melissa Collins) and Charles Stratton (Caleb Slavens), Lady Mathison (MarikoVan Kampen) and her friend Mrs. Railton-Bell (Mona Lee Wylde), her daughter Sybil Railton-Bell (Roslyn Cohn), Miss Meacham (Michelle Schultz), Mr. Fowler (John Wallace Combs), Doreen (Suzan Solomon), and Major Pollack (David Hunt Stafford).
Act II: Major Pollack (David Hunt Stafford) is also a regular guest at the hotel. Sybil Railton-Bell, a shy and introverted young lady, has become infatuated with him. Unfortunately, the Major has been accused of indiscretions with ladies at a local theatre. When Sybil and her mother, Mrs. Railton-Bell, learn of his past, they are demoralized. Mrs. Railton-Bell, being a dominate woman and mother, insists that Sybil forget all about him, but Sybil refuses the demands of her mother. Once again, compassionate Miss Cooper comes to the rescue.
Since Separate Tables takes place in England, it must be noted how all of the actors perform with flawless accents which adds to the success of the production.
Separate Tables plays Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 2 PM, through June 18, at Theatre 40, located in the Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Dr., Beverly Hills. Tickets are available by calling (310) 364-0535, or online at www.theatre40.org.