Standing ovation, bow, exit stage left….
The outstanding performance of “Love Letters” at Souhegan High School last weekend by Wendie Malick and Dan Lauria was a show not to be forgotten. They had us laughing, reminiscing, even in tears by show’s end and definitely wanting more. The story, written by AR Gurney, brought us through a lifelong correspondence between two friends that made it eloquently clear that while “physically apart, they were as spiritually close as only true lovers could be.” Such a magical way to benefit a great cause!
How did it happen that two of TV’s well-known actors came to Amherst NH to perform a benefit for the Front Door Agency? The answer goes back more than 50 years! Turns out Pastor Odie (who founded our Agency with the Church of the Good Shepherd congregation) grew up on Long Island with Dan Lauria, best known for his role as the Dad in The Wonder Years. Odie and Dan have maintained a close friendship all these years and Mr. Lauria is always happy to support our mission. In fact, both he and Ms. Malick spoke passionately about the work we do to help disadvantaged families in our community – sweet!
A Look Behind the Scenes at the Meet and Greet
After both the matinee and the evening performances, some of our guests enjoyed a very informative “Meet and Greet” with the actors and asked some great questions.
How does TV acting differ from performing live drama like Love Letters?
Briefly, the actors said with TV there is a lot of “starting and stopping” to re-do scenes. With a play, they are able to get into character and stay there for the entire performance.
How do they “play to an audience?”
Having seen both performances, I noticed they were different. Turns out Mr. Lauria and Ms. Malick noticed there were some “big laughers in the front row” during the evening performance, so they intentionally tried to keep the laughter going. The audience during the matinee seemed more serious, so that performance emphasized more of the sadness in the story line.
What’s in the near future for these two actors?
They will both appear on more episodes of the hit series, “This is Us.” Definitely great news for all of us!
A Word of Thanks
A HUGE thank you to Odie for organizing this event. Because of Odie’s constant dedication to our organization, his passion for organizing this event and recruiting his Hollywood friends he helped raise nearly $12k for our families at the Front Door!!
Another grateful thank you to all our wonderful guests for attending Love Letters and of course to Dan Lauria and Wendie Malick for taking time from their busy schedules on behalf of our mission! Special thanks to our outgoing board president Robert Kennedy from BAE who worked both behind the scenes and on stage to introduce the actors at the evening show. Finally, we’d like to thank a relatively new business in Nashua for helping to sponsor the play: Local Beauty Barre is an all-female owned salon, spa and fitness center. Be sure to check them out and support a local business committed to a local organization.
All proceeds from this performance will benefit the Front Door Agency, assisting individuals and families’ transition from financial crisis to self-sufficiency through educational and housing programs.