A Look Behind the Business

by Thomas Gallogly

It was the late 1980s. The Stock Market was recovering from the largest single-day percentage drop in all of history, the number of women entering the work force was on the rise, business takeovers were occurring at a record rate, and the age of the “Yuppie” was in full swing. This turbulent backdrop sets the stage for Jerry Sterner’s Other People’s Money, the third and final show to hit Florida Studio Theatre’s 2018 Summer Mainstage.

In this fast-talking, high-stakes, and seductive play, the character of Lawrence Garfinkle, aka “Larry the Liquidator,” sets out on a mission to disband the fictional New England Wire & Cable Company. Heavily matched against company owner, William Coles, and the flirtatious power of the young and attractive Kate Sullivan, Garfinkle faces a challenge like none he’s ever faced before.

Directed by FST Associate Artist Jason Cannon (Constellations, Million Dollar Quartet, and Once), Other People’s Money presents the circumstances of the 1980s through a modern-day lens. “The motivations of the characters may as well have been ripped from today’s […] headlines,” shared Cannon. “The play not only makes us laugh, but it provokes us to think about how and why we behave the way we do.”

“The play works because it dramatizes and humanizes business, making it as good or as bad as the people involved,” added FST Producing Artistic Director, Richard Hopkins. The humanizing yet true to form nature of this piece is, in large part, a key contributing factor to the show’s initial Off-Broadway success. Other People’s Money ran for over two years, with a total of 990 performances.

Joining this production as leading man, Lawrence Garfinkle, is FST favorite Sam Mossler. Mossler was last seen at FST in How to Use a Knife as part of this past year’s Stage III series, and is excited to play a character whose moral compass is so different than his own. “Villains are always a joy to play,” said Mossler. “But Garfinkle possesses a particularly juicy challenge for an actor because he never, for an instant, fancies himself a villain. His personal philosophy, though odious to me, is compelling in its consistency.” Joining Sam Mossler are returning FST performers: Colin Lane (Chapatti) as Andrew Jorgenson, and Joe Ditmyer as William Coles (Butler and Million Dollar Quartet). Making their FST debuts are Nehassaiu deGannes as Kate Sullivan and Perri Gaffney as Bea Sullivan.

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