Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Top 10 Molumby's Millions

Iron Age Theater Production in Norristown, PA

Molumby’s Millions is playing Friday and Saturday at 8PM matinees on Sunday 2PM through November 28th at the Iron Age Theater in Norristown. Check out the Iron Age website for more information on the show and call 610-279-1013 for tickets. On Saturday evening, November 20th, special guest Jason Kelly author of Shelby’s Folly will be in attendance and offer his spin on the story after the show. The playwright, D. W. Gregory will also be there to answer your questions.

1. Molumby’s Millions is a play written by D. W. Gregory about the fall out, knockdown that happened during the career of boxing great Jack Dempsey vs Tommy Gibbons July 4th, 1923. It was one of the biggest financial disasters in boxing history.

2. The story takes place in Shelby, Montana, and it became a who is sleeping with who, as told by the press. Loy Molumby, an American veteran, oil man sets out to meet Jack Kearns, the manager of Dempsey to arrange a spectacular event to draw the crowds to the town. Big money and big plans were set in motion. Kearns a shrewd business man cut a below the belt deal of $300,000 and the fight preparations began.

Loy Molumby (Anthony M Giampetro), Doc Kearns (Ray Saraceni) Kearn's "Secretary" (Krissy Johnson)

3. Spectacular needs money, a star and sensation. This play offers it all. Under the direction of John Doyle and Randall Wise, the cast comes fighting through. Set design by Wise immediately places you in the arena as you wait for the match to begin among the cheers and jeers of the crowd. Dave Mason was the fight choreographer and also played the role of Tommy Gibbons.

Advertising and Promoting (Krissy Johnson) Maggie "The Secretary"

4. Prior to the fight, the press, a male and a female on opposing sides took their jabs at Dempsey, a handsome talented journeyman who had taken an upper cut from his fans by being accused of being a draft dodger but he still could pack a punch.

Runyon, a reporter (Luke Moyer), Neysa a fashion reporter/sportswriter (Rachel Semigran)

5. The wide eyes and expectations soon ran dry as the money never arrived. The backers took their own punches. A huge stadium was built to house over 42,000 fans. The day of the match only 7,000 fans paid, others crashed the gate. The expense of the fight literally broke the town; however it placed them on the map and in the history books.

Stanton, Pres. of Shelby Bank (D. Fiebert) Jim Johnson Mayor of Shelby (Adam Altman), Molumby, veteran and oil man from Shelby Montana (Anthony Giampetro)

6. The press eventually got their story straight and every one enjoyed the challenge and had their story told. The combination does not always come out as predicted.

Tex Rickard infamous boxing promoter (Dave Fiebert) D. Runyon famous sports writer (Luke Moyer)

7. It is a perplexing tale of money, greed, class and power and a metaphor for who is sleeping with whom and can you really trust those strange bedfellows.

The Champ, Jack Dempsey (Howie Brown) and Neysa (Rachel Semigran) fashion reporter turned sportswriter.

8. In the end, the fight was saved by the bell. Despite all the manipulation and distortion of the facts, Dempsey comes through as the true champion. He was a good fighter with a knock out punch. The money played a minor role and benefited no one at the conclusion.

Sparring partner (Adam Altman), Dempsey (Howie Brown), Kearns (Ray Saraceni)

9. Bullies and boxing, it is a sport and we all are spectators to that type of match every day with money, power and greed. There is always a clear winner and loser. I have to thank, the writer, the entire cast and production staff for bringing that to my attention.

The Champ (Howie Brown) and his manager (Ray Saraceni)

10. When I attend a theater presentation, I often struggle with the point of the story. In my opinion this one was clear. Go out and see the production and make your own decision. There is much more to the story. It is a small venue that places you right in the middle of the action and the plays and players at Iron Age Theater never disappoint me! It is a comedy about a very serious subject.

The Cast

Howie Brown as Jack Dempsey, the Manassa Mauler

Ray Saraceni as Doc Kearns, his manager

Luke Moyer as Damon Runyon, a reporter

Rachel Semogran as Neysa, a fashion reporter turned sportswriter

Anthony M Giampetro as Loy Molumby, a veteran and Oil man from Shelby, Montana

Adam Altman as Jim Johnson, the Mayor of Shelby; George Hills of the Great Northern Railroad;Bill Wray, a sparring partner; Fred Starr, Silver Screen Villain; New York Editor

Dave Fiebert as Tex Rickard, Infamous boxing promoter; George Stanton President of Shelby Bank and Trust; Mr. Rankin, Attorney General of Montana; Old Man (mine).

Krissy Johnson as Maggie, Kearn's "Secretary"; Josie, a famous actress; Muldoon, a boxing commissioner.

Dave Mason as Tommy Gibbons

Produced by Fran Doyle, John Doyle, Randall Wise and The Centre Theater
Fight Choreography: Dave Mason
Stage Manager: Amanda Nelson
Set Design and Construction: Randall Wise
Scene Paintings: Michele Peraino
Costumes: Randall Wise
Lighting Design: Ben Lean
Sound: Lauren Joseph
Light Operator: Becky Ellis
Graphics and Publication: John Doyle
Sound Design: John Doyle
Seamstress: Jayne Burt
House Manager: Mary Jacobs, Judy Memberg

and here is the part I am not allowed to write

As far as Howard Shapiro’s review in the Philadelphia Inquirer of the show. Them’s fighting words my friend and you are talking about family. Put ‘em up, Put ‘em up! Appreciate the art and the artist. I think you missed the point or maybe I saw a different show. It happens. My first instinct was to challenge your words. I then decided to see it for myself. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and viewpoint. Hard work goes into each and every role that we all play and there will always be someone who doesn’t like your character. I am sure you are a worthy opponent and recognize the importance of a critique as you publically display your own work. You never know who is in the audience and judging you. Maybe we will meet in the ring someday. I look forward to it.


  1. We are looking forward to going on Saturday night.

  2. LOVE LOOOVE LOOOOVE your remarks to the critic "Howard Shapiro" who reviewed this play! YOU GO GIRL !!! I will HAVE to check out that play before months end! Tex Rickard seems to somewhat resemble Dennis Weaver? Very handsome! Very interesting insight on this authors account of that event! Thanks for the tips!!!