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Enchanted April, May 2010, page two

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In Italy, Lady Caroline (Karen Balaska) is both amused and annoyed by Mrs. Graves (Anna Marie Johansen) demanding to know what kind of milk is being served by Costanza (Karen Sidel).  Mrs. Graves does not speak Italian, but that doesn't stop her from demanding that everyone accede to her.
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On their first morning in Italy, Lotty (Vanda Doyle) is thrilled to be "in paradise."  Rose (Amy Rucci) is a little more reserved.  To Lotty, it doesn't matter that their "companions" took the best rooms for themselves, or that Mrs. Graves barks out orders and disapproves of everything.  "She just doesn't know she's in paradise yet." By the next week, Mrs. Graves' disapproval of everything has lessened a little.  Lotty can even toss back a reprimand at times.
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Rose and Lotty enjoy tea and reflect on their wonderful surroundings.  Still, they feel there is something missing and admit that they do miss their husbands.  Lotty suggests they ask them to join them.  In fact, Lotty already has.  Rose, however, feels Frederick would not come; she miscarried a few years ago and their relationship hasn't been the same since. With Lotty and Rose down at the beach, Mrs. Graves and Lady Caroline spend some time together.  Caroline even admits to losing a husband in the War--a husband no one else knew about.  She also admits to an affection for a currently-popular writer.
1 Lotty and Rose return with great news: Mellersh has sent a telegram accepting Lotty's invitation.  He'll arrive tomorrow.  Mrs. Graves is aghast: they came here to escape men!  Rose impulsively agrees to telegraph Frederick as well.  Mrs. Graves declares there will be no men at the castle!
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So naturally, that's the perfect time for Wilding to show up on his way back from Rome.  Costanza is especially happy to see him, and he even placates Mrs. Graves with a bag of English walnuts.
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To Caroline's dismay, Wilding is only interested in Rose.  They take tea the following afternoon after she has been posing for a portrait.  She has noticed that she resembles another portrait at the castle.  Wilding admits that was his mother. The awkward moment is broken by the arrival of Lotty and Mrs. Graves, back from town with provisions for tonight's meal.  Caroline, still in a bad mood, complains about the less-than-safe condition of the castle's water-heating system.
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Caroline's mood improves dramatically when she gets word that her author friend, whom she knows only by his alias, has arrived at the castle.  Frederick (Brian Rucci) offers to take Caroline to a jazz club in town, but she says tonight's dinner is a special deal.  She tells him to stay put while she changes. However, Rose comes back first and, believing him to have responded to her telegram, is demonstrably delighted to see him.  Frederick quickly decides to play along.  Rose introduces Frederick to Wilding, then rushes him off to her room to prepare for dinner.
2 Already strained by finding out Rose isn't a widow after all, Wilding is less than pleased to find out Lotty has a husband as well.  It takes all his British reserve to be pleasant when Mellersh (Dana T. Ring) arrives.  Lotty greets Mellersh enthusiastically, which improves his mood as well.  However, after his trip he needs a hot bath.
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Of course, the bath explodes.  A dazed Mellersh staggers in to confront Costanza, only to find all the females in attendence.  Taking his hat and his remaining dignity, he leaves.  Afterwhich, Rose introduces Frederick to everyone else, including Lady Caroline.  Perhaps because she is still amused by the man-in-the-towel, she decides to take it in stride.
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That evening, everyone contemplates the beauty of their environment.  Frederick and Rose take a walk in the garden by moonlight.  Mrs. Graves manages to get Wilding to take Lady Caroline out to the acacia tree.  Lotty and Mellersh see each other in a new light. And Lotty knows that they will all be back next year, and there will be a new marriage, and a new child, thanks to the enchantment of the castle.
1   Jerry Zalewski photo
2   Al LaPlant photo
3   Bob Williams photo


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