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Five Nickels
Jack Neary

FIVE NICKELS began its life as a full evening of theatre entitled SENIOR CIRCUIT in 2000 at the Summer Theatre of Mount Holyoke College. It’s a compilation of five plays, and FIVE NICKELS is the title of the one-act which comprises the entire first act of the evening. It’s the story of a 60ish church usher who is confronted on one particular Sunday by a 50ish widow with more than the second collection on her mind. In fact, she has determined that today is the day she will unravel the mystery behind the usher’s steadfast bachelorhood, and this determination drives the play to its warm and honest conclusion. Lots of laughs. Lots of fun and a good challenge for two mature actors.

The second act of the compilation FIVE NICKELS features four very short plays, all of which speak to audience members who might remember who Ed Sullivan was. LATE DATE is about exactly that--two mature adults forced by life and circumstance to hit the dating floor again, much to the dismay of their grown children. OKLAHOMA is virtually a monologue delivered by a woman who once nursed for severely broken soldiers during World War Two, and how one evening at the very famous Rodgers and Hammerstein show somehow made her life a little easier. LILACS is a sweet dialogue between two kids in the 1920’s, one of whom grew up to be a very popular and outspoken priest, while the other grew up to be a very popular and outspoken movie star. A true story, of sorts. Finally, THE WEDDING is a fast-paced illustration of what an ordinary guy has to go through to get his daughter married--the kind of daughter who will not accept the Knights of Columbus Hall as a reception locale because of the troughs in the men’s room. A boisterous end to the evening.

"FIVE NICKELS is a funny, thought-provoking, very entertaining evening with many laughs." Marian Murphy, "Hello Holyoke" newspaper

"Neary is the Catholic Northeast Garrison Keillor." Chris Rohmann, Valley Advocate

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