|David Friedlander, Jon Fletcher and Wrenn Schmidt. Photo: Richard Termine|
By Teresa Deevy
Directed by Jonathan Bank
The Mint Theater Company
What's It all About?
Young, ambitious housemaid Katie Roche (Wrenn Schmidt) can't decide what to do. Much older, rigid Stanislaus Gregg (Patrick Fitzgerald), brother of Amelia (Maragret Daly), for whom Katie works, has proposed marriage. She likes him -- especially since he has popped the question -- but her heart is torn by affection she feels for younger, fun-loving Michael Maguire (Jon Fletcher) who never has made a declaration of his feelings. She seeks the advice of Reuben (Jamie Jackson), a holy man who has walked to their Ballycar, Ireland village from Dublin. Some information about Katie's mysterious parentage comes to light and might prove that she's higher born than her lower-class language and manner, for which Stan has constant criticism, might indicate.
Katie marries Stan with big dreams of inspiring his career in architecture, but soon feels stifled in the "just-so" household they share with Amelia and in the wake of disapproval from Stan and Amelia's other sibling, the intimidating Margaret (an enjoyable Fiana Toibin). Stan plays matchmaker and suggests that Amelia marry her old flame Frank Lawor (John O'Creagh), but soon discovers that he should be much more concerned about his own marriage when Katie and Michael are found in a compromising position. Reuben warns Katie that she's playing with frie and Stan makes some decisions that will change the course of the relationships forever. David Friedlander rounds out the cast as Jo Mahony, Michael's friend.
What are the Highlights?
A delightful story, skillfully told. We feel as though we have stepped into the 1936 living room of this couple (thanks to the charming cottage design by Vicki R. Davis). The play contains threads of faith, right vs. wrong and fidelity in marriage that make it relevant in modern times. It does not feel dated.
What are the Lowlights?
Two intermissions disrupt the flow.
Katie Roche is the third production of Mint’s three-year project dedicated to reviving Deevy's work. Previously the company presented Wife To James Whelan in 2010 and Temporal Powers in 2011.
Katie Roche is presented Off-Broadway by the mint Theater Company, 311 West 43rd St., NYC, through March 31. Tickets and info: http://minttheater.org/currentproduction.php.
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-- No production note. Enjoy.