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"Good People" Explores Class Divisions in America

George Street Playhouse will stage "Good People" through Feb. 24.

A somewhat timeless issue in modern America is that of class divisions, and David Lindsay-Abaire's Tony-Award winning play "Good People" is based around this issue, exploring class and social mobility in Boston.

Margie is a single, middle-aged woman who works low-paying jobs to care for her handicapped adult daughter. Scrounging to pay the rent after being fired from her latest job, she seeks out a childhood friend, Mike, who moved beyond the Boston slums that the two grew up in to become a successful doctor. As they reflect on their shared past, Margie seeks to break through Mike's polished exterior to reach his street past.

Darkly funny, the play stars veteran actress Ellen McLaughlin as Margie and John Bolger as Mike. McLaughlin plays Margie with a thick Boston accent, at times pathetic and overly prideful, she paints a hard-to-like protagonist who can't seem to get a break in life.

Bolger, seen last year at the playhouse in "Twelve Angry Men" plays Mike, a fertility doctor with a beautiful, young wife and a home in the upscale neighborhood of Chestnut Hill. He is patient, albeit wary of Margie, a relic from a former life that is no longer his own.

Zakiya Young plays Mike's pretty and perky young wife, while Marianne Owen and Cynthia Lauren Tewes provide comic relief as Margie's rough-edged, salty-tongued friends. Eric Riedmann as Margie's former boss and a face from the neighborhood is the likeable ying to Margie's stubborn, prideful yang, and manages what may be the most authentic-sounding Boston drawl in the show.

The playhouse's Artistic Director David Saint also directed the piece which moves seamlessly from scene to scene and keeps the audience enthralled.

Just as impressive as the acting are the sets, which rotate through the stage as the play progresses and perfectly capture the essence of a Catholic church cafeteria, a cramped apartment, or a palatial house in an affluent neighborhood.

In a note about the show, Saint says it may be "The first great play written about the American class system."

"But it is also about many other things. What indeed makes a person "good people?" How much is luck or help from the right person along the way necessary for success? How much are we a product of our past or our particular environment? These are but a few issues raised most eloquently by Mr. Lindsay-Abaire in his play," he said.

The show runs through Feb. 24. Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased by clicking here.

For more information, visit www.georgestreetplayhouse.org.

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