THE STORY: Cooper Jones is a middle-aged realtor whose failing marriage and uninspiring job have left him prey to feelings of nostalgia. Over the objections of his wife, Liz, a pragmatic, no-nonsense advocate for the homeless, he is persuaded by his old friend Lucy to revive a winter dance which was the high point of their youth. To crown the evening, they plan to invite back Jack Daley and Kitty Price, everyone’s vision of a bygone dream couple. In flashback, and in even more ghostly interludes, we see Jack and Kitty as they once were: young, beautiful and oblivious to the passage of time while they waltz through Cooper’s memory. In other flashbacks, Cooper and his companions play themselves as teenagers in the 1950s, when cotillions and excruciatingly funny dance classes first brought these awkward young adults together. In the course of their collaboration, Cooper and Lucy begin an affair. Meanwhile, Jack and Kitty have accepted their invitations, but neither is the person Cooper remembers: Jack is an ambitious politician struggling for the governorship of Indiana while Kitty is on her third marriage and in the throes of cancer. The gala finally arrives and, for Kitty especially, the night proves one of spiritual healing as she and Jack, in an intricate slow dance, trade partners with their young counterparts, reliving the span of years that have separated and changed them with a new eye for forgiveness and a redeeming resolve—shared by all at the dance—to live their lives for today.
Based on A.R. Gurney’s novel, THE SNOW BALL delves nostalgically into those traditional values of grace and elegance that once identified a whole class of Americans, but which now have little territory left to them in the revved-up, final decades of the century. Here, the revival of an annual ballroom gala, long since forgotten, sparks a play of memory and desire where dancing to the Big Band sound embodies nothing less than an entire generation yearning for the snows of yesteryear. “It is pure enchantment…the simple story of a class reunion, with the wistfulness, amusement and small shocks…As a mood piece, with its old world elegance, its projections of untainted youth…it is undiluted romance…a finely wrought confection that sends us into the night, hearts singing and toes tapping.” —San Diego Times. “…a swirling, sweeping, moving last dance, full of beauty and utmost ethereal love.” —Hartford Courant.