By David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Roland Goodbody
Presented by Generic Theater
A South Boston native, Lindsay-Abaire has received many awards for his plays, including a 2007 Pulitzer for Rabbit Hole. First produced in 2011, Good People examines our assumptions about class and race. By turns funny and feisty, cynical and compassionate, its characters brave the ups and downs of life in Southie’s lower class. Are their fates decided by character or by chance? When do tribal loyalties help them and when do they cause trouble? Are they – are we - the agents of their own destiny or victims of an uncaring system? What does it mean to be “good people”?
The play follows Margaret Walsh, the single parent of a handicapped adult daughter, who lives one paycheck away from desperate straits. When she gets fired, she faces the possibility of eviction. Yet she holds no resentment against her boss or landlady, despite the many faults her pal Jean points out. Margie knows all of these people’s lives by heart. Each one tries to do the same thing – meet the bottom line and still qualify as ‘good people’ of Southie.
At Jean’s prompting, she visits her old high school boyfriend Mike, now a well-heeled doctor, to ask for a job. When he offers nothing, she shames him into a reluctant invitation to a party at his house in the suburbs, in case his friends are hiring. The normal, affordable entertainment for the Southie crew is Bingo in the church basement – a chance to mingle and maybe even win a little cash. During Bingo Mike calls to say his party has been cancelled -- but Margie thinks he’s lying.
Bad finances and the approaching rent push Margie into gate crashing Mike’s canceled party. His wife Kate tries to erase the differences in their circumstances. But Margie’s radar for Mike’s hypocrisy takes her past joking resentment and close to cruelty in a confrontation about choices versus luck.
Roland Goodbody directs Generic Theater’s production; he is interested in how the playwright uses his characters to explore how choices can make or break us, and the smallest twists of fate determine our path. Susan Dumais of Strafford plays Margie, with Jason Pulley as ex-boss Stevie, Cathy Wolff as Jean, Peggi McCarthy as landlady Dottie, Blair Hundertmark as Mike, and Maria Hendricks of Sharon MA as Kate.
Over its thirty-five years, Generic Theater has produced close to a hundred plays, ranging from original, absurdist, and eccentric one-acts in its early days to full-blown productions of award-winning Broadway plays, adaptations, and little-known works. From its origins as a group of friends who felt the urge to make theater, even though none of them had any training, Generic Theater has never been afraid to take risks.
November 10 - 26
Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m.