By Bonnie Goldberg

In the year following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, at a Catholic school and church, St Nicholas’ in the Bronx, New York, Sister Aloysius Beauvier sets out on a mission of her own:  to destroy the reputation of Father Flynn, a priest whom she feels with certainly has committed unpardonable acts.

Playwright John Patrick Shanley has crafted a superb drama, “Doubt,” a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner, whose timeliness resonates loudly in today’s world.  “Doubt” will capture the stage of Westport’s Music Theatre of Connecticut weekends until Sunday, April 25.

Sister Aloysius, played with conviction and steadfastness by a wonderful Katie Sparer, is the stern, unflinching principal of St. Nicholas School and she takes her responsibilities most seriously. Her students who fear her are not allowed to write with ball point pens, lest their handwriting look like monkey scribbles and she exhorts her teachers, like the compassionate Sister James (Marty Bongfeldt), to be fierce role models and guardians of the children’s fate.

When her suspicions grow about Father Flynn’s (Jim Schilling) conduct toward a new student, Donald Muller, the first Negro student in a school of over three hundred and fifty, she mobilizes her resources to see that the Father is removed.  To that end, she enlists the aid of Sister James and invites Donald’s mother, a fiery protective Lynnette R. Freeman, to confirm her resolution.

How can a man who believes in Frosty the Snowman and takes three lumps of sugar in his tea not be guilty as charged?  Kevin Connors directs this highly charged parable with precision.

For tickets ($40, seniors and students $20), call MTC, 246 Post Road East, in the Colonial Green Shopping Plaza, lower level, Westport at 203-454-3883 or online at www.musictheatreofct.com.  Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Weigh the evidence and make your own determination whether you stand with Father Flynn or against him.  Do you have certainty or doubt?

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