By Hays Blinckmann
Good People is a damn good play. Waterfront Playhouse’s latest production has pulled out all the theater stops taking on the heartfelt and witty script by playwright David Lindasy-Abaire. Head to South Boston — Southie — where the accents are as think as the humor. It’s a brash, coded form of living where the subtle do’s and don’t’s of lower-class living take precedence over money and ethics. Describing a “good person” in Southie is challenging, especially when you meet the contrary Margie played by George deBraud.
Brash, crude, pushy, passive-aggressive, Margie comes off the symbol of Southie living until she sees her childhood flame, Mike Dillon, played by Michael Castellano. He escaped Southie to become a doctor in Chestnut Hill and never looked back. Margie, needing a job, does the unimaginable and asks for help, being uncharacteristically vulnerable. Desperate enough to open old wounds to help herself and her daughter, Margie redefines the idea of “good people” by acting as an instigator and mirror for others’ behavior. Both diBraud and Castellano take on their weighty roles with absolute aplomb, filling the stage with tension and enthralling the audience to the end.
While the undercurrent of the play is serious, the supporting characters provide so much charm and black humor that Good People is riddled with laugh-out-loud moments. Margies’ two Southie friends — Dottie, her landlord, a crass greedy woman played by Peggy Montgomery; and Jean, the doting wise ass, played by Mary Falconer — hilariously spar and leave audiences wanting more. Kate, the beautiful, smart doctor’s wife, played by Simone Elizabeth Bart, is the perfect cerebral antidote to the Southie Code. Lastly, Stevie, played by Justine Ahearn, redefines a Southie good guy. All the supporting actors are immensely talented and nail comedic timing with applaudable precision.
Danny Weathers has yet again directed another Waterfront hit. Good People is so full of character and honest moments that spending a couple hours in Southie is theater perfection. Go to waterfrontplayhouse.org for tickets through April 29.