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A Review of “HOME SWEET HOME”

Written and performed by  CHARLES and KATHRYN FARRUGGIA

In the winter of 2020, we had the pleasure of meeting Kathryn and Charles Farruggia. During the course of building our friendship, we learned that they were intelligent, talented, and two of the most pleasant individuals we have met and gotten to know in a long time.

They told us about a play that they had collaborated on called “Home Sweet Home”, and if we were interested in seeing it we could view it on YouTube. We watched it 3 times. We were profoundly moved by not only the content, but by the powerful delivery of the narrated parts by Charles, and the beautiful rendition of the music presented by Kathryn.

Then we were advised that they were going to be giving a live performance at the Homestake Opera House in Lead, Sd on April 16, 2021. We immediately purchased tickets and were looking forward to attending.  Due to an illness, we were unable to attend, but heard from others that attended, that it was magnificent.

We then learned that another performance was going to be given, at the same location on July 3.  Once again, we rushed out and purchased our tickets.  Fortunately, this time we did attend and had the profound experience of watching a live performance, a depiction of part of the history of our great country, a heartfelt and emotional narrative by Charles of two soldiers, one a Private, the other a Colonel.  Both who were suffering both emotionally and mentally as they served their country.  Served in an attempt to uphold their beliefs and what they felt was true and best for their country and fellow countrymen.  Far away from their loved ones.  Never knowing if they were going to survive the next battle. Not knowing if they were ever going to be able to go home.  Watching their comrades die on the battlefield under conditions neither could have known existed, nor would have believed if they had not witnessed it first-hand.  Comrades falling by the thousands. A war that would take over 620,000 lives and four years before the bloodshed came to an end.

During the narration we witnessed both the Private and the Colonel suffer from what they had seen, attempt to come to terms with their changing feelings, their mental anguish, their emotional suffering for those they lost in battle, as well as those they felt they were losing at home.  The potential loss of their way of live, their beliefs, their common moral ethics, their right to go on living after the war ended, their hope and prayer for a return to some form of normalcy.

As we watched Charles perform, we lost sight of him, we only saw the Private and the Colonel, their anguish, despair, turmoil, and fear.

Between the narrations Kathryn would play the songs that were loved by both sides.  These songs would further enhance the heartfelt emotion of the times.

Kathryn played these songs, not as a concert pianist, but as a Lady, a wife and mother whose husband and son were fighting in battle to preserve the deep-set traditions and values, they believed in.  Preserve their country as they knew it.  Her rendition, deliverance, and interpretation of the songs she played was most fitting to musically represent the Private, the Colonel and the turmoil happening within them and in the country at the time.

The final moment of triumph was depicted when she played The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Charles sang it, touched both the United States and Confederate Flags that represented our country in 1865.  The entire audience stood up, placed our hands over our hearts, sang with him, cried with he and Kathryn, shed tears for our country, both then and now.

We are honored to call Charles and Kathryn our friends. We both feel privileged to have attended the performance of “Home Sweet Home” and look forward to seeing it again.  We would strongly recommend to everyone, that if you are given a chance to attend a performance and see firsthand what your fellow countrymen went through to give you the freedom we enjoy in our country today, please do so, you will not regret it.

Freedom is not free!


Virz-LeForce ginia R. Grenand Lloyd A. Rich, Lead, SD


Home Sweet Home is a very moving poignant portrayal of life from the viewpoint of soldiers on both sides of the Civil War.


The lyrics of each of the songs speaks directly to the heart of the men involved in this tragic time in US history.


The music is very well prepared and thought out in its presentation.   The piano pieces are gorgeous and presented to perfectly set the mood for every scene, while the vocals are powerful and dramatic causing the audience to feel they are being transported into the mind, heart and emotions of these soldiers who more than anything wanted to be home with their loved ones.


Jane Hallberg


Thank you for having us at your show, Home Sweet Home, at the Homestake Opera House.

The acting and music in your show were of the highest caliber I’ve seen at the opera house. The story brought back memories of when I was deployed away from my family for extended periods. It seems like we all deal with the same things no matter what era we served.

 

 

Kris Fenton

Quartermaster

VFW Blackhills Post 5969

Post5969@midconetwork.com

307.689.0086