Literary giants come to life in ‘Scott and Hem’

Literary giants come to life in ‘Scott and Hem’

Red Barn Theatre welcomes play to Key West

In a fictional meeting between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway in 1937 Hollywood, California, playwright Mark St. Germain imagines a meeting between two real life writers who fight their demons with drinking, women, father-issues, sexuality, and depression in the short play.

Hemingway, played by Gregg Weiner, pays a visit to his frenemy Fitzgerald, played by Tom Wahl, who is nine days sober. Hem is seeking advice on Scott’s wife Zelda’s hospitalization in the guise of trying to pitch a script for Fitzgerald to pull him out of his post-“Gatsby” rut. As the only two writers of the era that have the goods, the hilarity ensues as the friendly rivals bounce banter back and forth. The one person trying to keep Fitzgerald in line and with a job is his assistant, Eve Montaigne, played by George DiBraud. The truth, embedded in the author’s real biographies, help make the tale believable.

The three actors are no strangers to the stage, both Wahl, the co-director with Weiner, and Weiner perfected the play at the Actors’ Playhouse before bringing it to the Red Barn stage and their timing and resemblance to the characters are impeccable. The two Carbonell Award winning talents don’t just “play” Fitzgerald and Hemingway, they bring them back to life. Key West’s DiBraud graces local stages often and was recently seen in “Clark Gable Slept Here” and many more at Red Barn. This is Weiner’s first time on a Key West stage.

The drunker Hemingway gets, the more philosophical the script becomes. Two bottles of scotch in for Hemingway and a bottle of soda in for Fitzgerald, the two discuss the overall question of what is good writing. Will Hemingway push Fitzgerald to fall off the wagon, or will he falter on his own? Will they write again or have they run out of words?

Enjoy the show in the newly recovered comfy seats at Red Barn Theatre, while enjoying Jules’ last show as the lighting and set designer. The set will take attendees back to the ’30s through Sunday, Jan. 31. For tickets, visit redbarntheatre.com or call 305-296-9911.

 “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” — The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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