Granite Theatre's first show of their 2007 season is "Getting & $pending". The show is a series of vignettes and is a mixture of comic and dramatic scenes. When Victoria Phillips, a brilliant investment banker uses the illegal 18 million dollars she made from insider trading to build housing for the homeless, is her crime still a crime? Can she persuade the country's foremost criminal attorney to come out of his self-imposed retirement as a monk in training in a Franciscan monastery to defend her? Victoria wants Richard O'Neill as her defense counsel. She track him down, along the way meeting two unusual monks, who provide a great deal of unexpected humor. Eventually she wins over the reluctant lawyer with her "felonious criminal idealism". Throw in a bitchy female prosecutor, an overbearing judge, Victoria's immunity shielded mother and her worried partner to the mix. This play is about them: their struggles with themselves, with each other, with the law and with her unusual defense. Director David Jepson who also plays the role of Richard O'Neill obtains stellar acting performances from himself and his cast.
Not wanting to give away too much of the plot which will spoil the enjoyment of this show, I will comment on the excellent cast. David and his real life wife, Beth play Richard and Victoria. He avoids her at the monastery at first but as she runs down the hall in her bra, he eventually decides to meet with her. They have many dramatic moments which they play to the hilt. Nicole Kidman look-alike, Deb Bacewicz plays the prosecutor perfectly showing a both dramatic and comic moments, too. John Cillino plays Victoria's nervous and worried partner, Charles Humboldt who has a secret crush on her and is disappointed when she only has eyes for Richard. A real life CPA and lawyer, he handles his large chunks of dialogue with ease. The overbearing Judge Keefe is well played by Greg Bliven who only appears in the second act but makes an impact with his wonderful characterization. The three scene stealing comic performers in this show are Frank Pendola, Carol Forrest and Michael Chiaradio. Frank is hilarious as the monk who likes to dabble in the stock market and he has the best one liners in the show. When he leaves the monastery to help Richard with the case, he wears the most hideous plaid jacket and claims he loves McDonald's food. Carol plays Mary Phillips, Victoria's mother who puts the prosecutor in her place many times during the show with her cleverly written quips. Michael is a hoot as the elderly, hard of hearing Brother Thaddeus who has been at the monastery for over 40 years. He only has some brief scenes at the start of the show but he leaves the audience in stitches when he misunderstands what is being said to him. So for a look at how the government handles or mishandles it's law cases, be sure to catch "Getting & $pending" to find out what happens.