Public Theatre’s next play is set in Boston

LEWISTON — “Good People,” a recent Broadway hit filled with humor and sharp perception about getting by in tough times, opens its run at The Public Theatre on Friday, March 14.

In this perceptive comedy-drama by David Lindsay-Abaire, a hard-luck have-not single mother in South Boston turns to an old boyfriend from the neighborhood, now a successful doctor, to help her make a fresh start.

Director Christopher Schario calls “Good People” a funny, tough and tender play.

“What I like about ‘Good People’ is that it shows you two different worlds in different ways,” Schario said, who is TPT’s executive/artistic director. It takes an affectionate look at the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in society and powerfully questions the American dream that anyone can succeed if they just try hard enough.

Mitchko, TPT’s co-artistic director, leads a cast of six professional actors. She is a favorite on the TPT stage with appearances in dozens of shows in 20-plus years. All of the others in this cast are New York area actors and are newcomers to the Lewiston playhouse.

Mitchko portrays Margie, whose monthly paycheck covers the last month’s bills and a night on the town for a few rounds of Bingo with her friend Jean. Margie loses her job at a Dollar Store, and she hopes an appeal to Mike, a long-ago Southie who has made good, will set her on a steadier course.

Joe Gately plays Mike, the self-made success story from the tight-knit South Boston neighborhood. He’s now s itting pretty in a posh Chestnut Hill house with his wife, Kate, played by Christina Gordon.

Laurie Dean is cast as Margie’s Bingo buddy and Sharon Alexander plays the craft-making landlad,y Dottie. Rounding out the cast of actors from the New York theatre and television scene is Blake Segal as Stevie, the Dollar Store manager.

Set design is by Judy Staicer. Schario said she has done the sets for several TPT shows and she’s returning after a few years.

The play takes place in varied locations that range from Margie’s kitchen to an alley beside the Dollar Store and the Bingo hall in a church basement.

Act II is a longer and focuses on Mike and Kate in the living room of their upscale suburban home. It’s here that the play digs deep into playwright Lindsay-Abaire’s intelligent, humorous and thought-provoking themes.

Is a self-made man secure enough to revisit his humble beginnings? Can we ever really leave the old neighborhood behind? Is it our luck, our choices or our hard work that creates our success in life?

“This play is about people we all know who struggle to make a living, and still keep a sense of humor about it all,“ Schario said. “We believe this play will resonate strongly with the ‘Good People’ of Maine.”

“Good People” was named Best Play of 2011 by the New York Drama Critics Circle. It was nominated for a Tony Award, and it was the most produced play in 2013.

Lindsay-Adaire also wrote “Fuddy Meers,” which TPT presented in its 2001-2002 season. A leading American playwright, he won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for “Rabbit Hole.”

This play contains some mature language.

Performances of “Good People” are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays,

March 14, 20 and 21; at 8 p.m. Saturdays, March 15 and 22, and at 2 p.m. Sundays, March 16 and 23. There is an added Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. March 22.

For tickets call 782-3200 or visit www.thepublictheatre.org for more information.


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