100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW
By KATE FODOR
May 9 – 26, 2013
259 W. 30th Street (between 7th & 8th Aves.) NYC
Tickets: 100Saints.brownpapertickets.com or (800) 838-3006
Directed by JOAN KANE
Set Design by MARK MARCANTE
Costume Design by AUDREY NAUMAN
Light Design by BRUCE A! KRAEMER
Sound Design by IAN WEHRLE
Production Design by KRISTEN SMART
Press Representative SCOTTI RHODES
Rosie Cosch, Eric Percival, Carolyn Cutillo, Phoenix Lee and Annette Hunt
The Ego Actus incarnation of Kate Fodor’s 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW starts slowly, but gains momentum, especially in the second act. This is a play about characters in search of answers and in search of connections.
Theresa (Rosie Cosch) is a single mother who works cleaning the church rectory, but has never been religious. Matthew (Eric Percival), the priest at the same church, suddenly appears at his mother Colleen’s (Annette Hunt) door claiming to be on vacation after the church leaders ask him to take a leave of absence when questionable images are found in his possession. When Theresa and her troubled daughter Abby (Carolyn Cutillo) make an unannounced visit to Matthew to deliver a book he has left behind, a series of events unfolds that impact the lives of everyone, including the local grocery store delivery boy, Garrett (Phoenix Lee). These events bring to the forefront the individual journeys of the characters.
There are some parallels with the Matthew-Colleen and Abby-Theresa relationships. In both cases, the mothers are trying desperately to connect with and understand their children and their choices. Garrett is a simple but likeable character in search of himself and to understand his sexuality more than anything, and his interactions with the other characters serve as the catalyst that brings them all together. We learn that Theresa is in search of faith, while Matthew is having a crisis of faith. Abby is questioning her "bad girl" behaviour, and Colleen wants the respect of her son.
While 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW is a decent and ambitious work, almost every scene runs a bit too long, and the play ends abruptly, though as directed by Joan Kane, the scenes keep moving. There are no intrusive set changes or other production elements to detract from the action. The design elements serve to enhance the work.
For a play that touches on what could be rather incendiary topics, 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW manages not to come across as controversial, but more as a slice of life drama. Characters are searching for answers that are never given, rendering the work firmly grounded in reality rather than fantasy. There are no leaps of faith offered or taken in SAINTS.
- Kessa De Santis -