Sunday, March 24, 2013

Quick Hit Theater Review: Katie Roche

David Friedlander, Jon Fletcher and Wrenn Schmidt. Photo: Richard Termine
Katie Roche
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.

More information:
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:

Christians might also like to know:
-- No production note. Enjoy.

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (, an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.


All material is copyright 2008- 2017 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact


Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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