There’s a New Sheriff in Town! Sheldon Fallon Takes a Role with a Star in “Bus Stop” at Center Playhouse opening October 10th
5th in a series on the behind-the-scenes making of “Bus Stop” running at Center Playhouse Oct 10 – Nov 9.
By Muriel Smith. Edited by Jan Thompson.
You probably know Sheldon Fallon the Insurance Man. You know – Leigh Insurance Agency, 10 East Main Street, Freehold, a business that’s been there for more than two decades. Nice guy, family man, with a wife, son, daughter, and granddaughter who are terribly proud of him. Yep, that’s the Sheldon I’m talking about. But, do you know Sheldon Fallon the Actor? Sheldon Fallon the Sheriff? Sheldon Fallon on stage at Center Playhouse? This you have to see!
It all started a few weeks ago when Bernice Garfield-Szita, Artistic Director of the Center Players, took a look at the roles in the Players’ upcoming Bus Stop, took another look at her very affable friend, Sheldon, and said, “You know, I think you’d be great as either the bus driver or sheriff in this. Why don’t you try out?”
Well, Sheldon was shocked, horrified, and yet intrigued. He loves Center Players. Hasn’t he and his wife, Roberta, gone to many of the plays they’ve staged for the last many years? Aren’t both he and Roberta on the Board of Directors primarily because they love the idea of theater right in the heart of Downtown Freehold and want to do their part to keep it alive? Sheldon reasoned, “Why not? What have I got to lose?” So he auditioned for not one, but both roles Bernice had suggested, right up there on the stage of Center Playhouse. And he felt good about it. Actually, so did director Jeff Caplan. He thought Sheldon would make a great sheriff. And that’s how stars are born!
Sheldon loves the role, but admits he would have preferred the part of Carl, the bus driver, but only because “he has fewer lines.” Sheldon also admits to being scared – of flubbing his lines, or forgetting some, or missing a cue. But then he shrugs. “That’s what rehearsals are for. That’s what will make me work harder, try harder.”
I’m sure he’s trying hard, but he makes it look easy. Sitting in on rehearsals, I see Sheldon fit right in with the rest of the cast, all of whom have been on stage previously at other theaters. “They are all so nice. They have patience with the new kid.” He’s appreciative of the huge support he’s getting from everyone else.
Sheldon admits he’s surprised at how much he likes acting and what a great time he’s having. He also likes the sheriff and feels a certain affinity to him. “He seems like a nice guy, and that’s what I try to be,” Sheldon explains. “He’s kind of laid back, easy going. But he can get tough if the situation calls for it. And he likes people.”
For folks in Freehold who know Sheldon, it’s worth the price of admission just to see him saunter across the diner and take a slug at a bad cowboy type, all the time protecting the little lady the cowboy wants to marry. For those who don’t know him, it’s worth the price of admission to see him take on a new phase in his life. I’m asking for his autograph on opening night!
Bus Stop, written by William Inge and directed by Jeff Caplan, opens at Center Playhouse, 35 South Street in Downtown Freehold, on October 10th. The show runs for five weekends through November 9, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM. There will be no performance on Halloween, October 31. There will be an additional matinee performance on Saturday, November 1 at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $25 for Adults and $23 for Seniors/Students, and include desserts and refreshments at intermission. Group rates for parties of 10 or more are available. Seating is limited, so call the box office at (732) 462-9093 or visit us online at www.CenterPlayers.org to purchase your tickets
Muriel Smith is a guest blogger for Center Players. She grew up in Union, NJ and lived in Highlands for more than 40 years, working as a newspaper writer/editor before leaving home with her husband 15 years ago to live in an RV and visit every state in the Union before determining that Monmouth County is still the best place to live. She’s now settled comfortably in Freehold.