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The Unsinkable Molly Moores

For an aspiring actress, the road to possible stardom can be paved with rejection and disappointment.

So why is Molly Moores so darn happy?

By Vicki Meade / Photography By Scott Suchman
Research Assistance By Nicole Santana

Four-page feature article in the May 1999 issue of Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt

The patients form a circle as the young music therapist swings the black accordion onto her lap, pushes the thick straps over her shoulders, and positions her fingers. Behind the bulky instrument you see only the pretty face, the alert, deepset eyes, the encouraging expression. "Okay, everyone," she says brightly, and plays the first strains of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart."

At least, it's supposed to be "Let Me Call You Sweetheart." The patients join in and sing heartily, even as the therapist hits one wrong note after the other. She pumps the bellows and smiles, with a look as sweet and confident as Julie Andrews herself. While her right hand presses out a recognizable tune on the keyboard, her left goes astray, striking chords that collide and jar.

She plays to the end and laughs wryly. "Okay, I can't do the left hand right now," she says to her castmates. "But I'll get it."

Molly Moores, age 27, is not really a therapist and has never played a musical instrument in her life. But since being cast as Amy in Fells Point Corner Theatre's production of Wings, she's had to learn—fast. Wings is the story of Emily, an elderly aviatrix disabled by a stroke, who is tended by, yes, an accordion-playing therapist.

"Molly was the first person who came into my mind for this part," says director Bill Kamberger. "She has the warmth, the humor, the spirit of Amy. . . . She just glows on stage. But of course the role has, uh, challenges."

The accordion. She's got to master it in a month. "And she'll do it," Kamberger says. "That's the kind of person Molly is."