A Play in Two Acts
By Albert Meglin
It is early summer in the 1930s, at one of Europe's luxury resort hotels.
MARCUS, a newly rich merchant, is on a buying trip. He has taken along his wife, ROBERTA, and his recently divorced daughter, CORINNE, for the continental tour. Over the course of several weeks, two young members of the hotel staff, NICOLA, the bellhop, and GUNTHER, the sweep-boy, will undo this troubled, uniquely American family unit.
Almost from the first of their stay, CORINNE'S lies to her parents propel the downfall. She has fallen in love with NICOLA, the Monegasque of the title, who is years younger than she. The affair is discovered, and capitalized upon, by the disreputable GUNTHER.
Always prowling about, always on the scene when crucial events occur, always in possession of too much knowledge about the hotel guests, GUNTHER reports regularly to MARCUS what he has seen and heard. And when, finally, GUNTHER sets a trap for CORINNE and her lover, it would appear that he has nothing but contempt for NICOLA.
But the surprising final scene proves otherwise. GUNTHER and NICOLA are revealed as lovers, who have worked in concert the whole time. Hotel bums, they practice their tawdry little schemes on nouveau-riche American "innocents" across the European spa circuit.
Set in pre-War Europe, The Monegasque is a story about class distinctions, social chasms, and the small everyday wars between the haves and the have-nots that reveals these issues to be as timely and relevant today as during that bygone era.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
MARCUS BETANCOURT, a vacationing merchant, from the Midwest, 60s.
NICOLA, Mediterranean, a bellboy, from Monaco, a hustler, 20.
GUNTHER, European, a sweep-boy, uneducated and of the working class, a hustler, 20.
CORINNE BETANCOURT, Marcus’s daughter, a recent divorcee, refined, 28.
ROBERTA BETANCOURT, Marcus’s ailing wife, has come to Europe for the cure. 60.
ELSA, Corinne’s cousin and confidant, well-read and a bit naive, 20.
ANNETTE HARWOOD, a meddling vacationer, from the Midwest, 50s-60s.
Albert Meglin’s writing career began with television’s “Golden Age” of drama. More than two dozen half-hour, full-hour, and 90-minute TV plays, including the very first piece of writing of any kind he had done, were sold to and produced by CBS, NBC, and ABC Television. Anthology shows for which he wrote include Matinee Theatre, U.S. Steel Hour, The Nurses, Look Up And Live, and Confidential for Women. Early in his career, a full-length play was produced commercially on the Toronto, Canada stage.
In recent years, Al has concentrated on writing for the stage. His credits include: The Band Takes A Short Break, winner of playwriting contest sponsored by Great Neck local access TV station; At the Boathouse in Central Park, produced in showcase Off-Off-Broadway; The Blue Kangaroo, finalist, New Hampshire College new play contest; and The Visiting Room, Critics Choice – 22nd Annual Samuel French Short Play Festival, and Off Season. His plays Emily, on her Glider, The Band Takes a Short Break, Two Sisters Sitting On A Bench, Resting From All The Excitement, and Two Old Men Talking in a McDonald’s in Plainview, have been developed and presented in workshop by Stageplays Theatre Company (Stageplays®). Al is presently at work completing Pieces of Manhattan, an anthology collection of his short plays including The Biggie, Stalking Eugene Onegin, W. 57th St, 1BR, Sunny Steal, On A Westside Roof, Miss Monroe Regrets, On an Uptown Lottery Line, In a Riker’s Island Waiting Room, and Trailer Trash, to be published in 2009 by Stageplays.
Al Meglin has worked in the fields of newspapers and advertising, and has been a teacher of English in the New York City high schools. He has taught writing at Hofstra University, and has written film and drama criticism for Long Island weeklies. Mr. Meglin resides in Malverne, New York.
Tom Ferriter directed and produced the world premieres of Kathleen Anderson Culebro's The Crying Woman/La Llorona, a cross-cultural drama on international misunderstandings, Off Broadway at the Beckett Theatre, Paul Enger's In The Air, a love story during the Great Flu epidemic of 1918, Off Broadway at Theatre 315, James MacGuire's Nanny (also co-producer), an American comedy of extended families at the Nottara Theatre-Bucharest, and the European premiere of Harding Lemay's From A Dark Land, a World War-II drama of complicity, at the National Theatre of Romania-Craiova (co-producer), after having produced and directed the premieres of Marlene Shyer's First Wife, at the Emelin Theatre (Mamaroneck), Diane Leslie's and Mary Orr's family musical, Enchanted Afternoon, and Frank O'Donnell's Twisters, Off Broadway at the Nat Horne Studio Theatre on New York's Theatre Row. Tom is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Actors' Equity Association, the Screen Actors Guild, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute's Master Producing Class.
Tom Ferriter has been a visiting professor to the Academy of Theatre in Bucharest, and a guest professor at the Academy of Theatre in Oslo. He was Performance Coach to America's Health Network, a 24-hour cable TV network transmitted by satellite to more than 10 million households across America, and was a member for three years of the faculty of The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, where his classes included Acting for Film and Television, TV Commercial Acting, and Basic Acting Techniques. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Business Management from California State University - San Francisco and an Associate of Arts degree in Economics from Santa Barbara City College.
Michael Valenti composed, arranged, and conducted the music for the Emmy Award winning television series; A WALK THROUGH THE 20th CENTURY. For CBS radio he shared the Peabody Award for NEWSMARK.
In 1995 Mr. Valenti composed PROCESSIONAL FOR A PONTIFF a large orchestral work which was written for the entrance of Pope John Paul II into Central Park, New York, on the occasion of his celebration of the Eucharist. The piece was performed again on April 19, 2008 for Pope Benedict XVI entrance into St. Patrick's Cathedral. On December 11, 2008 his Christmas carol "Sleep, Holy Infant" was sung by St. Patrick's choir in concert and again at midnight mass on Christmas Eve. In March of 1991 at St. Peter's Church he conducted the premier of his dramatic oratorio THE WAY which is based on the fourteen Stations of the Cross.
In its permanent repertory The Goldman Memorial Band at Lincoln Center has performed Mr. Valenti's MARCH PASHA, CAROLINA SEASONS, ORIENTAL MAGIC, THE GUGUE FUGUE, THE GRAND WALTZ FROM LOLA MONTEZ, and the concert band version of PROCESSIONAL FOR A PONTIFF. In August of 1987 he was given a retrospective at Lincoln Center under the direction of Maestro Ainslee Cox. The Goldman Memorial Band performed all of his published concert band music and premiered his BIG APPLE MARCH. In 1998 Mr. Valenti was invited by The Goldman Band to conduct the first performance of his BLACK HAWK MARCH, and in the summer of 2002 he performed as piano soloist with the band in the world premier of his MUSIC IN SEARCH OF A BALLET. On February 25, 2005 The GMB Band premiered his FESTIVAL MARCH at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. Michael Valenti has the distinction of being given more world premiers by The Goldman Memorial Band than any other composer in the bands long and celebrated history.
HYMNE A SAINT-BARTHELEMY, now the National Anthem of the small island of Saint Barthelemy in the Caribbean was commissioned by the Chorale de Bons Choeurs and was introduced by the choir of the same name on December 11, 1999.
In the spring of 2002 The Children's Orchestra Society under the baton of Michael Dadap premiered his THE LITTLE PARK ACROSS THE STREET at the Colden Center for the Performing Arts.
His MOOD PIECE (adagio for strings and harp) was first performed by the Oklahoma Symphony, and his ballet CONVERSATIONS has been performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and Spoletto.
In 2002 Michael Valenti composed the music for the 25th anniversary production of THE BIG APPLE CIRCUS and has subsequently each year composed for that organization. In 2007 from November 9th thru January 17th his original manuscripts were exhibited at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, at Lincoln Center.
In 2004 Marshall University established THE MICHAEL VALENTI MUSIC COLLECTION in the College of Fine Arts and THE MICHAEL VALENTI GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIP where he has served as Composer-in-Residence.
His Broadway credits include OH BROTHER!, CLOTHES FOR A SUMMER HOTEL (Tennessee Williams' last play which starred Geraldine Page), HONKY TONK NIGHTS, BLACKSTONE!, and BLOOD RED ROSES. Off-Broadway he composed the scores for more than fifteen plays and musicals including LOVESONG, IN THE SUMMER HOUSE, (for the Manhattan Theatre Club), JUST FOR LOVE, SONG BY SONG (a review based on his theatre songs) and MADEMOISELLE COLOMBE which starred Tammy Grimes and was awarded five Outer Critic Circle Award nominations for which Mr. Valenti received two for best book, and best music for a musical. His SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS is still the longest running children's musical ever produced in New York and his BEAUTY AND THE BEAST as well as SNOW WHITE continue to enjoy productions world wide. BASHVILLE IN LOVE, a musical he composed for the opening season of The Texas Stage Company was given the Best New Musical of the Year Award by The Dallas Morning News. His score for Williams' THE GLASS MENAGERIE has been performed in regional theaters throughout the country, as well as his music for UPTIGHT by Gunter Grass, and Donald Drivers' A WALK OUT OF WATER. In the fall of 2003 the Goodspeed Opera presented his musical O.HENRY'S LOVERS that he wrote with librettist Joe DiPietro.
He composed, arranged, conducted, and directed THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF JONATHAN WINTERS for the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, as well as composing the music for the Zev Bufman production of BAHAMA BOUND, which opened the Cable Beach Hotel in Nassau.
As a performer, Michael Valenti appeared in the original Broadway production of HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WTHOUT REALLY TRYING, understudying the pivotal role of J. Pierrepont Finch. Off-Broadway he originated the role of Michael in YOUR OWN THING, and created the role of Tony Franco on NBC's THE DOCTORS.
His recorded albums include LOVESONG, OH BROTHER!, MUSIC IN SEARCH OF A MUSICAL, PIANO ROMANCES, SOUNDS OF CELEBRATIONPLAY MUSIC! The Stage and Television Music of Michael Valenti.
In 2010 The Portland Orchestra under the direction of Yaacov Bergman premiered STORY OF AN HOUR; the second piece in his CHRISTMAS TRILOGY.
Other published works include "Sleep Holy Infant" from STORY OF AN HOUR the one act opera BEAU NASH first performed by the Portland Chamber Orchestra, a song cycle entitled SOLITUDE, WEDDING MARCH for organ and brass, 12 PIANO PRELUDES, IMPROMPTU for cello and piano, 10 NOCTURNES for piano, RHAPSODY FOR CLARINET and piano, DANCES FOR FLUTE AND PIANO, FIVE SONATINAS for piano, ON RUSSIAN HILL for Horn in F and piano, and TEN DANCES FOR WOODWIND QUINTET. And for children, THE MUSICAL TELEPHONE BOOK for piano, THE COFFEE GRINDER for flute and piano, and ten FANCIES for piano solo.