Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Sin"

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note: entire contents copyright 2001 by Beverly Creasey

"Sin"-fully Rich Comedy
at Coyote


Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

If you tried and tried you couldn't create a better contemporary setting to illustrate the revolutionary warcry of Reformation leader Martin Luther: "Go forth and sin bravely." "Sin" is Wendy MacLeod's hip, wickedly funny modern version of a medieval morality play --- in which a human being shares the stage with characters who are the embodiments of virtues/or vices. The heroine of MacLeod's morality play is an intense young woman who tries so diligently to be perfect, it's wearing her out. MacLeod inverts the traditional morality play by teaching the woman to be more "human".

She literally places herself above her fellow man in a helicopter reporting on drivetime traffic...but in her superhuman effort to be good, she doesn't realize she has become self-righteous --- judging everyone she meets to be wanting. The playwright shakes up her clearly defined world with (what else) an earthquake, offering her the opportunity to wake up and smell the brimstone.

Director Courtney Anne O'Connor has assembled a crackerjack cast. You won't see better ensemble work anywhere. Laura Latreille manages to make the heroine sympathetic despite her priggish bent. Ellen Stone is an adorable glutton. (Kristin Glans' sweats/costume makes you forget that Stone isn't pudgy at all.) John Carozza is hilarious as a sleazy nightmare of a bad date/ and a greedy capitalist pig of an entrepreneur. Bill Mootos gets to charm us as a devil-may-care good time Charley/and frightens us as the heroine's nasty, angry boss, a characterization he achieves by grafting his eyebrows together. (How does he do that?) Shawn Sturnick is a delight as an envious co-worker/and fabulously manic as the heroine's dying brother...whom she blames for getting AIDS. The woman is so tightly wound she can't see until it's too late how much she has hurt him by voicing her "true" feelings. The sinners in the audience winced, clear in the knowledge that a white lie is often kinder than the truth. Come to think of it, it's fun rooting for (some of) the sins, especially Envy. (Once you see "Sin" you'll know why I'm still in stitches over Envy's line "Jacket. Pants. SOCKS. Shoes.")
Not since that Peter Cook/Dudley Moore movie about the seven deadlies have I enjoyed wickedness so much.

"Sin" (till 10 February)
Boston Center for The Arts, 539 Tremont Street, BOSTON
(617) 426-2787

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide