January 19, 2015

Good People

Welcome to Boston, Southie to be specific, where jobs are scarce and bingo nights are popular. The Indiana Repertory Theatre’s current OneAmerica Stage play, “Good People”, takes audiences into the tricky topic of social class. It brings up the age-old question of luck vs. hard work; can you succeed with just one?  


The play comes from David Lindsay-Abaire, the same author as a previous IRT production “Rabbit Hole”. While the topic is very different the playwright's ability to tackle difficult issues no matter how uncomfortable they make us remains the same. And these issues: money, race, social status, etc., tend to make people very uncomfortable

The show’s powerhouse performances, particularly from leads Constance Macy and Sean Patrick Reilly, are what really drive the message home. Each one tackles their complex character with an attention to detail that lends a feeling of authenticity to the story. Macy is the down-and-out Margie, a single mom with a disabled adult daughter struggling to make ends meet in a minimum wage job. She’s brash on the outside, but she wears her self-conscious nervousness on her sleeve. As the mood shifts in each conversation she bristles or laughs accordingly and it feels incredibly natural. Her conversations with her costars make the audience feel as though we’ve stumbled upon them, a tribute to both the actors’ talents and the playwright’s skill.


Reilly plays Mike, who grew up in Southie but made good and became a doctor. Their lives couldn't be more different or distant when their paths cross 30 years later. The actors take us through moments of tenderness, anger, frustration, vulnerability and more in a single scene. They navigate the choppy waters of the human range of emotions without missing a beat. Let's not forget a couple of the great supporting roles. Nicole Lewis, as the Mike’s wife, is the gregarious hostess one second and in the next she’s a protective mama bear. Dee Pelletier brings a fierce humor to the role of Margie’s loud-mouthed friend Jean.


This is a play that will not be left at the stage door. It begs to be discussed, argue about, and it makes you think twice about your assumptions of others' lives. Most of all the play will leave you thinking about it for days to come. 

Don't Miss the Show 
The Indiana Repertory Theatre is located at 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, one-half block west of the Circle Center Mall between northbound Illinois St. and southbound Capitol Ave. “Good People" runs until February 1st on IRT's Main Stage. Times for performances can be found at www.irtlive.com or by calling the IRT box office at (317) 635-5252. To purchase tickets call (317) 635-5252 or order online at www.irtlive.com 

Photos Courtesy of the Indiana Repertory Theatre

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