Cotuit Center for the Arts presents “Good People,” a comedy by David Lindsay-Abaire, November 8 to 25. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 PM and Sunday at 2 PM in the Black Box Theater. There is no performance on Thanksgiving, November 22. The show is produced by Erin Trainor and directed by Carol McManus.
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 (played by Liz Liuzzi) has just been let go from her job at the Dollar Store for chronic tardiness by her young boss Stevie (John Hanright).
“Margie is down on her luck and has been most of her life,” said McManus. “Now in her 50s, she can’t seem to catch a break. She got pregnant in high school, and raised her daughter, who is developmentally delayed, as a single mother.”
Facing eviction and scrambling to get another job, Margie tells her troubles to her long-time friends Jean (Ruthe Lew) and Dottie (Karen McPherson), who is also her landlord. Jean encourages her to reconnect with Mike (Marcus Liuzzi) an old boyfriend. He was born and raised in Southie, but escaped by going off to college and medical school and is now a successful doctor. Hoping he can help her make a fresh start, Margie heads off to meet with him and his wife Kate (Brandy Power).
But is this apparently self-made man secure enough to face his humble beginnings? Margie risks what little she has left to find out. “Good People” explores the struggles, shifting loyalties and unshakeable hopes that come with having next to nothing in America.
“This is a beautifully written play,” said McManus. “Lindsay-Abaire won the Pulitzer Prize for ‘Rabbit Hole’ in 2007. That was an excellent play, but I really consider ‘Good People’ to be his best play. It has a lot of comedy, a lot of poignancy, and a lot to ponder, including the question, ‘who are the good people in this play?’
“Another reason I wanted to do this play is that it’s local. It takes place in South Boston’s lower end and in Chestnut Hill,” said McManus, “and it was very, very well-received when it was done in New York.”
McManus directed a staged reading of “Good People” last year at Cotuit Center for the Arts. “I am thrilled to have members from that wonderful cast return for the full production,” she said. “Liz and Marcus Liuzzi will be playing Margie and Mike again, and Karen McPherson returns as Dottie. All three have appeared in numerous productions at Cotuit.
“We are very fortunate to have Ruthe Lew, who just finished performing in ‘Cougar,’ Brandy Power, and John Hanright join us for this production. All are very talented actors."
The play premiered in 2011 and was nominated for two Tony Awards: Best Play and Outstanding Actress, which Frances McDormand won for her role as Margie. The play also won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play.
Tickets are $20, $25 for members. Cotuit Center for the Arts is at 4404 Route 28 in Cotuit. For more information, visit artsonthecape.org or call 508-428-0669.
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“Good People,” by David Lindsay-Abaire
Black Box, Cotuit Center for the Arts, 4404 Route 28, Cotuit
November 8 to 25. Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 PM and Sunday at 2 PM. There is no performance on Thanksgiving, November 22.
$20, $15 for members.