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Dramatic reading wows library patrons

NORFOLK — For a brief moment Saturday, Nov. 5, the Church of Christ Congregational in Norfolk became the dual scenes of a London rare book store and a New York City studio apartment. The set was minimal, but the dramatization of Helene Hanff’s “84 Charing Cross Road” was the exact opposite.Published in 1970, “84 Charing Cross Road” chronicles the warm and witty 20-year correspondence between Hanff, a New Yorker, and Londoner Frank Doel, owner of a rare book store. Tony- and Emmy -winning actor Ed Herrmann read the part of the reserved and accommodating Doel, while Emmy-winning actress and writer Megan McTavish portrayed the feisty, outspoken, rare book-loving Hanff.Members of Herrmann’s family — his wife, actress Star Roman Herrmann, and daughter, actress Ryen Herrmann — rounded out the cast.The performance was presented by The Norfolk Library Literary Liaisons Committee as part of a year-long series of literary offerings to benefit The Norfolk Library.“People were deeply moved, and I can’t count the number of people who told me they thought the whole event was so exceptionally lovely,” Committee Chair Janet Gokay said after the event. “I think Hanff herself would have been pleased as punch. I can’t imagine a better performance of her material.”Details of upcoming Literary Liaison events can be found online at www.norfolklibrary.org/lit-lia.php. Anita Holmes is a resident of Norfolk and a member of the Norfolk Library’s board of directors.

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