If the old cliché, “it made me laugh, it made me cry…” was ever appropriate to trot out, it would be for the Tony-Award nominated production of “Good People” which opened this week at the Seattle Rep.
There are plenty of laughs to be had in this “pull no punches” tale that that shines a much needed light on class and what a few fateful differences can make in one’s life. Politicians and their consultants may have reframed the debate to draw unending focus on the middle class during the recent election – but what about the working class…or more appropriately, the working poor?
“Good People” squares its attention on a group of friends in South Boston getting by day-to-day and doing what they need to do to make ends meet. Margie (played by Ellen McLaughlin) has lost her job at a Dollar Store just as her landlord is knocking on her apartment door looking for next month’s rent. In need of a paycheck, her friends suggest she touch base with Mike - her ex from High School and a fellow “Southie” who has “made it out” with a successful doctor’s practice and a house in the ‘burbs.
Squirrelly is probably the best way to described Mike’s behavior when Margie enters into his new middle-class confines. Not ready to admit that his current station in life is a result of anything more than hard work, Mike looks at Margie’s paycheck to paycheck existence as something entirely of her own doing.
A culture clash ensues when polite, day-to-day niceties are shed and true, raw feelings are exposed.
“Good People” sports a very strong cast with Ellen McLaughlin as Margie, joined by her two opinionated (and hilarious) friends Jean and Dotty played by Marianne Owen and Cynthia Lauren Tewes. John Bolger also puts in a compelling performance as Mike, the Southie doctor who still can’t acknowledge all of the circumstances that have played into the privileges he has been afforded in his life.
The set of “Good People” is a graphically quiet stunner thanks to the scenic design of James Youmans.
Following through on the theme of David Lindsay-Abaire’s dark comedy, Seattle Rep is offering up a “Dollar Store Deal” on day-of-show tickets. Through the run of the show (March 31), 25 $1 tickets will be available for purchase through the box office or in person.
For additional information on showtimes and ticket availability visit: www.seattlerep.org.