Review: The Penitent
His wife Kath (Rebecca Pidgeon) suffers massive fallout from Charles' stubbornness, while his lawyer Richard (Jordan Lage) and an unnamed defense attorney (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) seem to outwit Charles at every turn by employing snaky arguments about
Warsaw, December 1945: the second World War is finally over and French Red Cross doctor Mathilde (Lou de Laage) is treating the last of the French survivors of the German camps. When a panicked Benedictine nun appears at the clinic begging Mathilde to follow her back to the convent, what she finds there is shocking: a holy sister about to give birth and several more in advanced stages of pregnancy. A non-believer, Mathilde enters the sisters fiercely private world, dictated by the rituals of their order and the strict Rev. Mother (Agata Kulesza, Ida). Fearing the shame of exposure, the hostility of the occupying Soviet troops and local Polish communists and while facing an unprecedented crisis of faith, the nuns increasingly turn to Mathilde as their beliefs and traditions clash with harsh realities. Leaves us with a fresh understanding of our capacity to respond to suffering with good or evil, and to find new definitions of grace and vocation. -Justin Chang, Variety A story of survival and rebuilding from ruins. Theirs is a history worth remembering. -Monica Castillo, RogerEbert.com A moving drama about the struggle to keep one s faith in the most difficult of situations.a compelling deconstruction of how to cope and rebuild. -Jordan Raup, The Film Stage
Almost an Evening
THE STORIES: Welcome to the darkly comic world of Shel Silverstein, a world where nothing is as it seems and where the most innocent conversation can turn menacing in an instant. The ten imaginative plays in this collection range widely in content,
These three short plays by Oscar-winning screenwriter Coen explore the theme of hell--both on earth and in the hereafter. Clever, provocative, and engaging, these plays showcase yet another talent from one of the most celebrated contemporary writers.
The beloved David Mamet has penned another anti-establishment, Mamet-speaky play that asks puzzling moral questions and entraps the protagonist in a dilemma for the ages. With The Penitent at the Atlantic Theater Company, the results are often fun and impressive, but it ultimately falls flat. “The boy” happens to be a patient of Charles (played by Chris Bauer), a psychoanalyst who is losing faith in his profession while dabbling in Judaism. With his reputation on the line, Charles is dragged into “the boy’s” court proceedings, but refuses to relent to authorities – ostensibly in the name of the hippocratic oath. His wife Kath (Rebecca Pidgeon) suffers massive fallout from Charles’ stubbornness, while his lawyer Richard (Jordan Lage) and an unnamed defense attorney (Lawrence Gilliard Jr. ) seem to outwit Charles at every turn by employing snaky arguments... Naturally, Mamet’s signature punctuated dialogue is present throughout The Penitent , which calls for a suspension of disbelief if you’re not already a fan of his—though if you’re seeing the show, you probably are. The material is dense with rapid-fire zingers that pull you deeper and deeper into nihilistic rabbit holes: What is mental illness, even. To believe in the Bible, does one have to believe in it absolutely. Events challenge Charles to answer these impossible questions while his world crumbles. Bauer ( True Blood , Survivor’s Remorse ) handles the difficult lead role capably, deflecting each attack with believable vulnerability, stubborn pride, and uncomfortable acts of self-preservation. Lage ( Race , Ghost Stories ) plays a smarmy lawyer who mercifully slows down the pace of this turbo-charged, 80-minute play just when it needs it the most. The show-stealer is Gilliard Jr. who makes a huge impact in his sole scene as Bauer’s refreshing adversary. As the defense attorney, he takes full, charismatic command of the deposition, setting traps and relishing in a complicated lawyerly chess game. With every arrogant flip of his tie and intellectual blow he rains upon the impotent Charles, Gilliard is undeniably fun to watch. Yet, there are deep flaws in The Penitent. It stings a bit to watch the actors move furniture around during every scene transition like they’re trapped in a high school production. The plot gets a bit predictable and calculated, employing old school reveal devices. Woe betide the writer tasked with criticizing a legend like Mamet, let alone his wife, Rebecca Pidgeon ( The Winslow Boy , Phil Spector ) but, there’s just no getting around it: Pidgeon’s performance in The Penitent is an alarmingly weak link. While the men get to intellectualize Charles’ dilemma with razor wit and blasé logic, the wife Kath bears all the emotional consequences. She is the panicky, clueless victim of Charles’ choices. Unfortunately, Pidgeon appears disconnected from her lines throughout The Penitent. There’s little to no chemistry between she and Bauer, the only person she—and everyone else—interacts with onstage. If The Penitent was armed with an actress who brought a little more believability and range to the role, or if the female role was simply written better, it’s possible that the climax may not have devolved so completely into “yeah right, seriously. Starring: Chris Bauer, Lawrence Gilliard Jr. , Jordan Lage, Rebecca Pidgeon. Written by: David Mamet. Through: March 26 at the Atlantic Theater Company.
Jordan Marsh Style Blueberry Muffins (baking powder, eggs, flour, milk, blueberries, salt, shortening, vanilla extract, sugar, sugar)
Grandma (Sally) Jordan Penn Dutch Potato Soup Recipe (potato, carrot, onions, celery, water, salt, lowfat milk)
crisp topping (baking powder, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, flour, oatmeal, salt, sugar)
Sour Cream Fan Rolls (baking powder, butter, eggs, flour, salt, sour cream, sugar, water, yeast)
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Jordan Lage, Actor: Salt. Jordan Lage was born on February 17, 1963 in Palo Alto, California, USA. He is an actor, known for Salt (2010), Michael Clayton (2007) and ...
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