The Keegan Theatre kicks off its 25th Anniversary Season this year. Their first production, David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, is a blazing success and a welcome reminder that misfortune can bring with it unexpected gifts.
Our heroine, Margaret (“Margie”), is played superbly by Susan Marie Rhea, artistic director of Keegan. Margie is in a situation many faced in the pandemic: multiple disasters she didn’t predict, can’t control, and is struggling to master.
David Lindsay-Abaire’s play is tonally deeply attuned to the ways people from disparate backgrounds interact and feel. Director Josh Sticklin’s approach has a musical lilt to it; the speech and silences have a striking and melodic rhythm, and he brings out the best in his actors.
Margie, like many of us in crisis, doesn’t behave particularly well. And some of her prejudices are disturbing. But Rhea’s formidable performance keeps us watching. Simone Brown as Mike’s wife, Kate, is wonderfully perceptive; Kate, who teaches literature, is far more sophisticated than Margie. Kate is presented as one of the “good people” of the title; yet, as Brown makes clear, she is no more immune to self-doubt than anyone else.
Mike Kozemchak’s Mike is in an unenviable position — between two women who both have certain claims on him, however diffuse in Margie’s case. He valiantly tries to take the high road, fails, tries again, and fails again. We can feel his past connection with Margie, as well as his deep, if conflicted, love for his wife.
It is great to see people live on stage again, and to experience that magical connection. Don’t miss Good People. It will bring you straight to the essence of what it is to be human, right here, right now.