GOOD GOODS - Tries to Do Too Much
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
BOB: After reading the interview with playwright Christina Anderson about her play Good Goods which is having its world premiere at the Yale Rep, I wasn’t sure that what I saw had anything to do with what Anderson claimed the play was about.
KAREN: She claims that the play was a historical look at the period between 1961and 1994 and everything in between. It is set in a place she describes as not appearing on any map but is obviously a very small town in the south.
BOB: The fact is that the historical events that occur during that period and which Anderson claims are the inspiration for the play, did not register on my consciousness.
KAREN: In the play, Stacy has returned to his small hometown to take over running the general store -- Good Goods -- after his father disappears. He has obviously been an entertainer; soon after his former partner, Patricia also reappears with a young woman in tow. In the town is Stacy’s close friend, Truth and Patricia’s twin brother, Wire. During the course of the play a variety of events occur, some realistic and some definitely supernatural or mystical. The relationships between the former performing partners, the twins and Stacy and Truth are explored.
BOB: The cast is excellent. The outstanding performance is by Angela Lewis as Sonny -- the young woman who by the second act has been taken over by the spirit of a recently dead townsman and who must go through an exorcism of sorts. She captures the Jekyll and Hyde quality as she shifts between the two personas.
KAREN: The other cast members are also very good as is the direction by Tina Landau. the set by James Schuette and the other elements of the production are also excellent.
BOB: This is a very good work by a young and promising playwright. She believes she has created a multi-layered work that deals with many issues over an extended period.
KAREN: Unfortunately she perhaps tried to do too much -- the mysticism, a large dose of homosexuality, and a mysterious and bloody “invasion” of the town in the past -- caused me to constantly be trying to figure out what she was attempting to say and why.
BOB: This is a wild and wooly theatrical experience with excellent performances and direction. This is a playwright we look forward to seeing additional works from. It runs at the Yale Rep through Feb. 25.
This review aired on WNHU-FM 88.7 and www.wnhu.net.