A Magnificently Acted Play Is What Theater Is All About… Without A Doubt!
I, like most true theater goers, have always loved plays like Dial M for Murder (coming to Maltz next season), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1963), Tea House on the August Moon (1954) and Doubt: A Parable (2005). As a product of 12 years of Catholic education, the fear of being called to Mother Superior’s office (a.k.a. the principal), I was looking forward to this award-winning play, and I was not disappointed.
The story centers in 1964 in a Bronx Catholic school where a popular priest, Father Flynn (Jim Ballard) befriends the school’s first black student. However, his actions are suspected to be improper by a young teacher, Sister James (Julie Kleiner) and the principal, Sister Aloysius (Maureen Anderman). Despite their lack of proof, and Father Flynn’s plausible explanation, Sister Aloysius is relentless in her quest to oust him from Saint Nicholas Catholic School.
There is a fine line between truth and gossip, which is masterfully examined and magnificently portrayed. The talented actors were 100 percent believable, including Karen Stephens (Mrs. Muller, the boy’s mother). What make John Patrick Shanley’s brilliantly written play work for me is that throughout the play, the scale of justice can go either way. Thus you can appreciate and understand Father Flynn’s explanations and at the same time appreciate Sister Aloysius’ relentless persistence due to her overwhelming concern for her students’ welfare.
In the end, Sister Aloysius’ persistence prevails as Father Flynn leaves Saint Nicholas, and much to her dismay is reassigned and promoted.
These actors under the direction of J. Barry Lewis keep you on the edge of your seat with who to believe as well as keeping you laughing throughout this one-act drama now through Feb. 17.
This acclaimed 2005 Broadway production of Doubt: A Parable inspired a popular 2008 film adaptation starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis. All four received Academy Award nominations for their roles.
Doubt: A Parable is sponsored by Jodie and Dan Hunt and the Roy A. Hunt Foundation. Tickets are now on sale now for the rest of the theater’s 10th anniversary season.
For a complete schedule and tickets, call (561) 575-2223 or visit www.jupitertheatre.org.