Photographs from Fifth of July at the New Apollo Theatre November 1980

by Alexei

Christopher Reeve, Mary Carver, Jeff Daniels, Johnathan Hogan, Swoosie Kurtz, Joyce Reehling, Danton Stone & Amy Wright in Lanford Wilson’s Broadway Comedy “Fifth of July”at the New Apollo Theatre, NY.  First previewing on October 28th 1980 and finally opening on November 5th 1980 running for 511 performances before finally closing on 24th January 1982.


Kenneth Talley, Jr. is a gay paraplegic Vietnam veteran living in his childhood home with his boyfriend, botanist Jed Jenkins. At the beginning of the play, he is due to soon return to his former high school to teach English, but has decided not to. Visiting Ken and Jed are Ken’s sister, June Talley, and her daughter, Shirley, as well as Ken and June’s longtime friends, John Landis and his wife Gwen, inheritor of a large industrial copper conglomerate . John is ostensibly visiting to purchase the Talley House for Gwen to convert to a recording studio, so that she can have a career as a country singer.

Unbeknown to anyone but June, John and Ken, Shirley is John’s daughter, and his visit has as much to do with a desire to gain joint custody of Shirley as it does with the house. Ken, meanwhile, believes that the singing career is a way of distracting Gwen, so that John could take control of her businesses. Other visitors include Weston Hurley, Gwen’s guitarist, and Ken’s aunt, Sally Talley, who a year after his death still has her husband Matt’s ashes in a candy box. The story culminates with a “bidding war” between Sally Talley and John Landis for the house after it is revealed to everyone that Ken planned on selling it to Landis. Sally ultimately outbids Landis and says she will give it to Jed so he can finish his gardening. Source Wikipedia.

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