June 05, 2006

Doubt at the Walter Kerr Theater

Walter Kerr Theater I just finished up a week of Doubt at the Walter Kerr Theater. Doubt was written by playwright John Patrick Shanley who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for this very good piece of work. The show is in its second year and will be finishing its run in July.

I watched 8 performances in a row and enjoyed the play each and every time. It's performed in 90 minutes with no breaks which is a great way to do a show. Art was done the same way. The momentum of the story is never broken so the climax at the end is really meaningful and wrought with emotion.

The dialogue is crisp, witty and direct. The characters are earnest and believable. And though the play is set in 1964, the story is interesting and relevant.

It's about a nun, principal of a catholic school, that suspects the parish's priest has "interfered" with one of the children at the school. When the show ends you really aren't sure of the truth. You 'doubt' the actions of the characters. You question what happened, what you saw, what was said. You think about the play as a whole to make sure you didn't miss anything. I watched the show 8 times in a row looking for clues from the characters, their actions and words, to make sure the truth wasn't hidden somewhere in the text or the subtest.

But believe me. You won't know what the truth is either.

It's a good show and the attendance has been light. You will be able to get a ticket if you want one and most likely for a great seat.

Eileen Atkins is a treasure. She is wonderful as Sister Aloysius, Catholic school principal. She took over the role from Cherry Jones who I have yet to see on Broadway. Jena Malone is also in the show playing Sister James - a young sweet naive nun and teacher incapable of believing anything bad about Father Flynn or anybody else for that matter. Father Flynn is played quite well by Ron Eldard who you probably remember best as a paramedic from the first few seasons of ER.

Both Jena Malone and Ron Eldard do good jobs in their Broadway debuts.

See this play.

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