Theatre Mirror Reviews - "GOOD PEOPLE"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

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Note: Entire Contents Copyright 2016 by Tony Annicone


Reviewed by Tony Annicone

URI Theatre's first show of their season is "Good People" by David Lindsay Abaire. The play revolves around Margie, a working class woman from South Boston who finds herself in a lot of trouble. She is out of a job as a dollar store cashier, can barely pay the rent, and as a single mother, has a disabled daughter to look after. Desperate for work, she throws herself at the mercy of an old flame, Mike, who shared her tough background, and is now a successful doctor. With dogged persistence, Margie not only invades his office, but gets invited to his home, where for all his upward mobility, Mike remains "good people" or maybe as Margie says "a lace curtain Irish" ala the Kennedys. Director Bryna Wortman casts these roles splendidly and obtains stunning performances from her hard working cast. This play shows how chance and luck influence our lives. It is a dramedy with a lot of humor in it. The awesome unit set is by Cheryl deWardener which displays three playing areas in the first act, is changed during intermission to the wealthy Chestnut Hill home and then during a quick scene change back to the bingo hall.

Bryna taught her hard working cast the Boston accents needed for this show and they have wonderful chemistry as an acting ensemble. Celine Montaudy commands the stage as Margie. She elicits our sympathy at first and then plays hard ball with her old friend to try to obtain a new job. Celine is onstage almost the whole time. This play depicts the class distinctions of Boston where Abaire lived as a boy growing up there. Margie's confrontation scene with Mike and his wife is a standout moment in the show. Christopher X. Morris does a terrific job as Mike. He captures the essence of this man who worked his way up from the working class to where he is now. Mike plays hardball in the confrontation scene with Margie and his wife. Christopher's proper Boston accent slips back into the Southie accent when he gets ticked off at Margie. This second act scene is stunning and electrifying.

Laura Kennedy and Maggie Papa are topnotch as Jean, Margie's Southie friend and Dottie, Margie dotty landlady who is constantly asking for the rent money. They swear up a storm as Margie's pals and give the play the comic moments needed to temper the harsh reality Margie faces with her disabled daughter, Joyce played sympathetically by Emily Carter and the loss of her job. They steal many a scene with their comic antics. Laura's closing line is a show stopping moment at the end of Act 1. Alijah Deana Dickenson excellently plays Mike's African-American wife who mistakes Margie for a caterer. She is at first sympathetic to Margie's plight but when Margie claims Joyce is Mike's daughter, she changes her mind by wondering why she never let him about it before this. Alijah delivers the goods in this intense scene. Kyle Couture plays Stevie, Margie's boss at the dollar store who fires her at the start of the show. He later on appears to give Margie hope in obtaining another position. There is a clever twist at the end of the show provided by Stevie. So for a marvelous contemporary show that resonates with current day audiences, be sure to catch "Good People" at URI theatre. It is a marvelous piece of theatre.

GOOD PEOPLE (13 to 23 October)
URI Theatre, Will Theatre, Upper College Road, Kingston, RI
(401) 874-5843 or

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide