It never ceases to amaze me that writers can be so adept at delving into a human psyche to reveal the complicated self-preservation mechanisms that come into play. They “hold a mirror up to nature,” as the Bard put it long ago.
In Good People (2011), David Lindsay-Abaire returns to South Boston to examine how childhood relationships clash when one person escapes the neighborhood. His keen ear focuses on Margie (Alison Blanchard), who supports her adult autistic daughter with a dead end job. But meet her, not unsympathetically, as her manager, Stevie (Michael Kerr) must fire her for chronic lateness due to the haphazard babysitting assistance she gets from her landlord, Dottie (Mariko Van Kampen).
Margie seeks help from her friend, Jean (Suzan Solomon), who seems to have the most impractical ideas, only one of which is to appeal to Mike (Scott Facher), who managed to escape from “Southie” and become a doctor. Threaded through these events, the neighborhood church’s bingo game provides entertainment and even income for the women, and even Stevie, now Margie’s ex-boss.
Margie’s clumsy efforts are not well received. But, with Jean cheering her on, she perseveres, even to the point of showing up unannounced at Mike’s home. By all appearances, Margie is a pest who imposes herself on Mike and his elegant wife (Charlotte Williams Roberts). But Lindsay-Abaire’s craft brilliantly reveals who the “good people” really are.
Director Ann Tobolowsky deftly pulls together this talented cast as itinexorably draws the audience into a world where nothing is exactly as it seems. She got uncredited dialect assistance from Milda Dacys (alternate for Dottie), whose authentic Boston accent is replicated by the performers.
Jeff G. Rack manages to locate complicated scenes (I’m thinking of the Bingo Hall) against the permanent set in the Reuben Cordova Theatre, saving the best for Mike and Kate’s palatial Boston Home. Michelle Young provides the costuming, with lighting and sound working well in the newly renovated electrical syste
Performances of Good People continue through January 9th , playing Wednesday through Saturday at 8 pm, and Sunday at 2 and 7 pm on the Campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 S. Moreno Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Proof of vaccination is required.
After a special Monday (8 pm) performance on December 20th, performances will recommence on January 5th, 2022 for one more week. For reservations, call (310) 364-0535 or online at www.theatre40.org. All tickets $35.00, with parking accessed at the intersection of Durant and Moreno Dr.