WHO ARE THE "GOOD PEOPLE"?

BONNIE GOLDBERG

What if you were born without a silver spoon or gold plated pacifier in your mouth? Would the lack of either doom you to a life unblessed? Just ask feisty and disillusioned Margie Walsh, born in the south side of Boston, the place where blue collars outnumber lace collars 100 to 1. How do you hold your head up high when you feel like a Bozo the Clown knock down toy, continually punched in the face and still expected to bounce back?

Let playwright David Lindsay-Abaire open a window wide into Margie’s scrappy and seemingly insignificant life in "Good People" taking up residence at TheaterwWorks of Hartford until Sunday, June 28.

With todays difficult economic times a constant concern, the audience should easily identify with Erika Rolfsrud's Margie and her day-to-day plight. We don't get to choose where we are born, in a housing development or a MacMansion. Margie strongly feels her impoverished neighborhood has doomed her to a life of need. Her job at a Dollar Store at just over minimum wage and her adult handicapped daughter Joyce color her world in perpetual shades of grey.

As if conditions couldn't deteriorate further, Margie has just lost her job, even though her boss Stevie (Buddy Hagrdt) regrets having to fire her: too many absences from her babysitting woes when her landlady Dottie (Audrie Neenan) is late. Her best friend Jean (Megan Byrne), ever her cheerleader, tells her to reach out to her old high school flame Mike (R. Ward Duffy), now married to Kate (Chandra Thomas) and a successful doctor living well in the tony suburbs of Chestnut Hill.

Can Margie persuade Mike to help her find a job and get a fresh start? Will his wife encourage him to honor past friendships and be supportive for old times sake? Is Margie her own worst enemy, one who sabotages all her best intentions, with a sarcastic tongue that sharpens with every ensuing scene? Rob Ruggiero directs an excellent cast in resurrecting ghosts from the past to battle the newest demons that thrive today. Luke Hegel-Cantarella set includes a video projection that makes us feel we are indeed in the seedy south side of Boston.

For tickets ($50-65, senior matinees $35), Call TheaterWorks, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford at 860-527-7838 or online at www.theaterworkshartford.org. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Come early to enjoy the first floor art gallery that features original photographs taken by TheaterWorks’ staff.

Enter Margie's hard-knock life without any rose-colored glasses as she tries to win a landslide of fortune in the grand Bingo game of life.

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