Theatre Mirror Reviews - "SIN: A Cardinal Deposed"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2007 by Tony Annicone

"SIN: A Cardinal Deposed"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current show at The Gamm Theatre is "Sin:A Cardinal Deposed" by playwright Michael Murphy. It is an unflinching docu-drama stitching together the words and characters of the Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis in Boston. The show is a collage of testimonies surrounding Cardinal Bernard Law, whose governance of his diocese from 1984 to 2002, when years of sexual abuse by priests under his authority were finally revealed. Mixing together actual courtroom testimony by victims and accused child molesters, as well as internal Church documents entered in civil suit proceedings in 2002 and 2003, Murphy sheds new light on a case that continues to touch and shape the lives of many people. Resident director Judith Swift chooses 6 topnotch performers for this 90 minute show and they deliver the goods to their audience.

Gamm resident actor, Sam Babbitt portrays Cardinal Law, the controversial Church leader. His befuddlement at the questions hurled at him by the prosecuting attorney are well played as Sam defends Law's position as protector of the priests not the victims. Law defends himself by saying Cardinal Cushing and Cardinal Medeiros, his predecessors appointed some of these priests long before Law appeared on the scene. Sam is onstage almost the entire 90 minutes and handles his part very well. Prosecuting attorney, Orson Krieger is dynamically played by Scott Winters. He questions and badgers Cardinal Law throughout the proceedings to try to get Law to admit his failings to the over 1000 sexual abuse victims. Scott commands the stage with his acting prowess in this role. Tom Gleadow handles the role of Law's defense attorney, William Varley. His intermittent comments and objections add some levity to the dramatic proceedings. Gamm resident performers Wendy Overly and Chris Byrnes handle the numerous witnesses, letter writers and accusers during the show. Their portrayals are well done and add dramatic and comic moments to the proceedings. A fantastic closing monologue is given by Steve Kidd as Patrick McSorley, one of Father John Geoghan's many pedophile victims. His tale of victimization of this horrible predator is dynamite and gives the show a powerful and emotional closure. So for a look at the true story of the horrible scandal in Boston, be sure to catch "Sin:A Cardinal Deposed".

"SIN: A Cardinal Deposed" (22 March - 22 April)
THE GAMM THEATRE
172 Exchange Street, PAWTUCKET RI
1 (401)723-4266

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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