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Good People

a Drama
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by David Lindsay-Abaire

COMPANY : Onstage Atlanta, Inc. [WEBSITE]
VENUE : 7 Stages [WEBSITE]
ID# 5230

SHOWING : February 09, 2018 - February 18, 2018

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Welcome to Southie, a Boston neighborhood where a night on the town means a few rounds of bingo, where this month’s paycheck covers last month’s bills, and where Margie Walsh has just been let go from yet another job. Facing eviction and scrambling to catch a break, Margie thinks an old fling who’s made it out of Southie might be her ticket to a fresh new start. But is this apparently self-made man secure enough to face his humble beginnings? Margie is about to risk what little she has left to find out. With his signature humorous glow, Lindsay-Abaire explores the struggles, shifting loyalties and unshakeable hopes that come with having next to nothing in America.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Jeffery Brown
Dottie Bobbie Elzey
Voice of the Priest Nat Martin
Jean Cathe Hall Payne
Mike Alan Phelps
Margie Melissa Rainey
Kate Kelly Young
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REVIEWS

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Good Gracious!
by playgoer
Sunday, February 11, 2018
5.0
Wow.

When you come into the 7 Stages mainstage space, the play doesn’t look very promising. Barry West’s set design has four playing spaces that are more splayed than arrayed across the playing space. The furniture and flooring are appropriate for the settings (a bingo parlor far down right, a modest kitchen center, an office up left, and an alley down left that features an industrial trash bin painted nicely by Katy Clarke), but the overhead lighting for the last three locations looks jury-rigged, and the white curtain forming the back of the playing space makes the whole stage look shabby and incomplete under the house lights. And then the show starts and the stage lights come up.

Tom Priester’s lighting design creates pools of light for each distinct location that make the rest of the stage melt away from view. That’s true of the first act and also for the second act, when the office and kitchen sets are removed and replaced with an elegant living room that extends across the full width of the stage. The overhead lights from act one are pulled up out of sight and a lovely chandelier descends. The wonderful lighting design is complemented by a nice sound design by Charlie Miller, consisting largely of bingo calls (Nat Martin as the voice) and music playing between scenes.

Joan Cooper’s costumes and Angie Short’s props do all they need to do to support the script, giving the production a naturalistic feel that mirrors the naturalism of the acting, which is superb across the board. Melissa Rainey conveys the prickly nature of Margie, the main character, with great skill and a terrific South Boston accent. Cathe Hall Payne and Bobbie Elzey play her Southie friends with loads of personality. Michael Sanders does a wonderful job portraying Margie’s young supervisor, and Alan Phelps gives a powerful performance as a childhood boyfriend of Margie’s who has made good as a physician. Marquelle Young is fabulous as his wife, conveying a range of emotions that bring their troubled relationship into full focus. There’s lots of humor in the show, but it all comes directly from character, with not a hint of mugging or pandering.

When a production is as good as this one is, the director deserves lots of credit. Jeffery Brown has elicited performances from all his actors that show them at the top of their game. True, there are a couple of scenes where Ms. Rainey plays with her back to much of the audience, but Mr. Brown has shaped the scenes for maximum impact. The humor and the power and the pathos of the story come through strong and clear in this production, showing that the theatre diaspora of this year’s season, with the Alliance, Onstage Atlanta, and Staged Right moving from spot to spot, has not negatively affected the quality of productions produced by these companies. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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