Thursday, March 01, 2007

Theatre: Good Thing

The show's title Good Thing seems to bring the promise of a light evening, but this show by playwright Jessica Goldberg, while not a complete downer, is far from light. There are moments of laughter along with brutal candor as the characters are forced to face issues they desire to forget. The name doesn't come close to describe how six people swim in their misery, while using amusing comebacks as ammunition and a life preserver.

Nancy and John (Julie Lancaster and Derek Voy) are a married couple whose 20-year-old marriage is shaky due to John's recent affair. The relationship becomes further strained when John runs into Liz (Kaily Smith) a former student who has returned to her hometown. She turns to him for life advice, which doesn't make Nancy too happy. This couple try to leave on their planned vacation to Maine both with different hopes on how to save their marriage. The two are at a crossroads until Liz comes in with a seemingly perfect solution.

Elsewhere, Liz's one-time boyfriend Dean (Dylan Osean), who chose to stay behind in Texas as a construction worker instead of going to college, baby-sits his coke addicted brother Bobby (David Weidoff) and his wife of seven months Mary (Dara Goldman), whose drug habit threatens their unborn child. Their home is a powder keg ready to explode. Dean and Liz 'casually' meet up and both are curious about each other's choices. She's surprised he stayed home when he had the chance to leave for school; he's suspicious why she is back in town when she made a big deal in leaving after graduation.

Osean, in his first play, portrays Dean with the right amount of stubborn and vulnerability. Dean is all around facetious, a big drinker but watches out for Bobby like a big brother would do. Osean and Weidoff work off from each other like a polished comedy duo. As Bobby, he is a fountain of truth and hysterical amusement, but he cannot say no to drugs. I liked how child-like and sweet he was when the moment called for it and then back to the cokehead with the sharp remarks. Goldman was heart wrenching as the troubled Mary, who doesn't back down when faced with the educated Liz. The country girl who got knocked up makes a worthy adversary. She stands on her own, although wobbly against the college dropout.

Voy and Lancaster are amazing and convincing as the troubled couple. She portrays well the wife who doesn't know if she can continue in a marriage but knows she wants to be a mother. Voy tolerates her fury as patiently as any man would when he knows he slipped up.

So, what is the good thing in the Good Thing? It looks a lot like life itself. As young adults, we map out our lives to the letter and don't account for any mishaps. Crushed dreams and disappointments are not part of the plan. Then life laughs its hysterical head probably wondering when we're going to get it right.

Good Thing plays at Hudson Main Stage Theatre. The show will run until March 17th!

- Mary Emerita Montoro, Contributing Writer

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