Category Archive for: ‘Flora Lynn Isaacson’
Marin Theatre Company opens its 2013/2014 season with the Bay Area and National Premiere of the hit play Good People by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. According to Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis, “It’s an insightful look at the difficult choices good people are forced to make when the well being of their family is threatened.”
Good People is full of interesting characters and sharply written scenes which combine to paint an indelible portrait of the economically deprived blue-collar culture of Boston’s South End.
Tracy Young, an Oregon Shakespeare Festival regular directs this play with intelligence and sensitivity, eliciting top-notch performances from a powerhouse cast.
Margie Walsh (Amy Resnick), a lifelong resident of Southie, a blue collar Boston neighborhood, is fired due to tardiness at her cashier job at a dollar store. A single mother, and knowing that she and her handicapped adult daughter, Joyce, supposedly born premature before Margie’s husband left her, are only a single pay check away from a desperate situation. Looking for employment, Margie goes to her old high school boyfriend Mike (Mark Anderson Phillips) now a doctor, but formerly from her neighborhood. Margie shames Mike into inviting her (however reluctantly) to his birthday party in Chestnut Hill. She is looking forward to the party because she views it as a chance to meet potential employers. Her friends Dottie (Anne Darragh) and Jean (Jamie Jones) encourage her to tell Mike that her daughter Joyce was not born premature, but is his, in hopes of getting support from Mike. When Mike calls to tell her his party is cancelled, Margie assumes that he is dis-inviting her because he’s embarrassed to have her mix with his doctor friends. She decides to go to his house anyway with the intent of crashing the party.
At the beginning of Act II, Margie arrives at Mike’s house only to discover the party has been cancelled. Mike’s elegant young African-American wife, Kate (ZZ Moor) at first, mistakes Margie for a caterer. Once the misunderstanding is resolved, Kate invites Margie to stay and reminisce about Mike’s past. A discussion begins and Mike tells Margie her current financial problems are her own fault for not trying hard enough and Margie tries to explain to Mike that he had a lucky break which most people from Southie did not.
Later, Margie’s landlady receives an envelope containing Margie’s rent. Thinking Mike sent it, Margie intends to return it to him. At bingo, it is revealed that the envelope is from Stevie (Ben Euphrat), her former boss at the dollar store. Upon learning this, Margie accepts the money as an indefinite loan and Stevie agrees to help her find a new job.
This is Amy Resnick’s show as Margie and she grabs it and doesn’t let go. Mark Anderson Phillips gives his affable Mike a wary demeanor around Margie which suggests his unease with this woman from a world he escaped long ago. ZZ Moor depicts the accomplished Kate with a crisp air and blinding smile. Jamie Jones undercuts her cozy appearance as a Southie neighbor with a sardonic edge. Ann Darragh is delightfully funny as Margie’s landlady. Ben Euphrat smartly stresses Stevie’s decency. This fine ensemble brings a sense of warm humanity to David Lindsay-Abaire’s affecting story of haves and mostly have-nots.
Good People runs at Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, August 22-September 15, 2013. Performance days are Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m.; Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. Matinees are every Sunday at 2 p.m. with extra performances on September 14 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, September 5 at 1 p.m. For tickets, call the box office at 415-388-5208 or go to www.marintheatre.org.
Coming up next at Marin Theatre Company will be the World Premiere of I and You by Lauren Gunderson and directed by Sarah Rasmussen, October 10-November 3, 2013.
Flora Lynn Isaacson