Theatre Mirror Reviews-"Good People"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2015 by Tony Annicone

"Good People"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The Players fourth show of their 106th 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. Vincent Lupino casts these roles splendidly and obtains stunning performances from his hard working cast. The play shows how chance and luck influence our lives. It is a dramedy with a lot of humor in it.

Vincent taught his hard working cast the Boston accents needed for this show. They have terrific chemistry as an acting ensemble.Becky Minard commands the stage as Margie. She elicits our sympathy at first and then plays hard ball to try to get a new job from her old friend. Becky is onstage almost the whole time. This play displays the class distinctions of Boston which Abaire lived through as a boy growing up there. The confrontation scene with Mike and his wife are standout dramatic moments in the show. David Crossley 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 currently. Mike is a bit of a prick in the confrontation scene with Margie and his wife. David's proper Boston accent slips back into Southie accent when he gets ticked off at Margie. David excels in comic roles having directed him as Felix in "Odd Couple" and Barney in "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" but this role proves his acting prowess as a dramatic actor, too.

Trish McManus and Marcia Layden are also excellent as Jean, Margie's Southie pal and Dottie, Margie's ditzy landlady who is constantly asking for the rent money.They swear up a storm as Margie's pals and give the play some comic moments to escape the harsh reality Margie faces with her disabled daughter, Joyce and the loss of her job. They steal many scenes with their comic antics. Trish's closing line and middle finger gesture at the end of Act 1 is a show stopping moment.Carol Pegg plays Mike's African American wife who mistakes Margie for a caterer. She is first sympathetic to Margie's plight but defends her husband against Margie by claiming if Joyce was Mike's daughter why didn't she step forward before this. Carol delivers the goods in this intense scene. Tom Lavallee plays Stevie, Margie's boss at the dollar store who fires her at the start of the show. He appears later on to give Margie hope of obtaining another position. There is a clever surprise twist at the end. The audience rewards the cast with a standing ovation at the close of the night. So for a splendid contemporary show that resonates with current day audiences, be sure to catch "Good People" at The Players. To become a member of this theatre club call Bill Applegate.

"Good People" (20 - 29 March)
@ Barker Playhouse, 400 Benefit Street, PROVIDENCE RI

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide