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a Comedy
by Michael Hollinger

COMPANY : Onstage Atlanta, Inc. [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Onstage Atlanta on Ponce [WEBSITE]
ID# 5085

SHOWING : June 02, 2017 - June 25, 2017



The place: Priseaux, France. The time: c. 1250 A.D. The Plague is thriving in Italy. And here in France, there hasn’t been a miracle in thirteen years. With their coffers dwindling, the local monastery pins their hopes on the upcoming Papal visit to restore the abbey to its former glory. If only their arch rival hadn’t claimed possession of an "incorruptible" that seems to be cranking out miracles. The day is saved and these old monks find an outrageous way to settle old debts.

Director Aaron Gotlieb
Charles J. Michael Carroll
Peasant Woman Katy Clarke
Olf O’Neil Delapenha
Marie Sara Lynn Herman
Jack Jef Holbrook
Felix Chris Schulz
Martin Darrell Wofford
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Funny Bones
by playgoer
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Michael Hollinger’s "Incorruptible" takes us to a struggling monastery in medieval France that desperately needs a miracle and a visit from the Pope to restore its repute. Let’s just say that it finds another way to gain a financial footing; one that transforms skeletons into pricey relics of saints. The four monks that live there are joined in the action by a peasant woman, by her daughter and son-in-law, and (eventually) by the abbot’s harridan of a sister. Physical comedy and sight gags abound, providing a crunchy sugar coating for all the goofily nefarious goings-on going on.

The four monks have distinct personalities. Abbot Charles (J. Michael Carroll) is a serious, deeply religious man. Martin (Darrell Wofford) has a streak of larcenous proclivities a mile wide, and the cynicism to go with it. Olf (O’Neil Delapenha) is dim-witted and enthusiastic. Felix (Chris Schulz) is pious and conflicted, grieving for the peasant girl his family forbade him from marrying. They all have comic moments that they play to the hilt. Only Mr. Schulz seems to lack a natural comic gift that makes him look a bit stiff in comparison to the others.

Katy Clarke, as the peasant woman, is a laugh riot, and LeeAnna Lambert is even more comically over the top in the second-act role of Sister Agatha. Rounding out the cast are Jef Holbrook and Sara Lynn Herman as a minstrel team whose physical comedy often results in belly laughs for the audience.

Lizz Dorsey’s set is a lovely depiction of a medieval chapel, with Ben Rawson’s lighting including some wonderful window effects. The only questionable lighting decision is brightening the lights for a minstrel routine, then noticeably dimming the lights afterwards. Dan Bauman’s sound design conveys offstage noises nicely, but isn’t called on to do much. Jane Kroessig’s costumes seem to be period-appropriate, with the motley of the peasants and the burgundy brocade of Sister Agatha contrasting with the burlap-like garb of the monks. Kathy Ellsworth’s props are impressive in their quantity of bones, but the 30 pieces of gold referenced in the script don’t seem to have realistic weight.

Aaron Gotlieb has directed the show with great pace and with fine blocking, although some of the on-floor activity will be missed by audience members seated behind others who sport large hairdos (as was my fate). When a show has this many spot-on comic bits (and there are PLENTY), it’s obvious the director has done far more than just given his actors free rein to mug and romp. The controlled chaos that is "Incorruptible" can be attributed to Mr. Gotlieb’s terrific direction. Terrific shows don’t just happen by themselves! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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