THE STRUGGLE OF GOOD VERSUS EVIL – 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW AT ELEPHANT THEATRE COMPANY
Review by Tracy Lynn Schafer
This review first appeared on www.ArtsBeatLA.com
The presence and truth of God is often cold hard fact for the devout. For those less convinced, there could exist a struggle… Elephant Theatre Company has given life to this struggle with 100 Saints You Should Know.
Wrestling with his faith and his place in the Church, Father Matthew (Brendan Farrell) is asked to take a leave of absence, after a number of risqué photos are found hidden in his living quarters. With nowhere else to turn, Father Matthew returns to his childhood home, where his mother (Pamela Roylance) proves to be no help in his resolution. While Fath...
Matters of love, sex, faith, and family are explored with utmost originality in Kate Fodor’s engrossing, deeply moving 100 Saints You Should Know, now getting an impeccable West Coast Premiere at the Elephant Theatre Company under the inspired direction of Lindsay Allbaugh.
The less you know about Fodor’s much lauded play, the more you will enjoy its many unexpected twists and turns. It won’t hurt, however, to be introduced briefly to its five characters as they appear in the play’s first four scenes.
Scene One: 30something Catholic priest Matthew O’Malley (Brendan Farrell) accidentally interrupts the similarly aged Theresa (Cheryl Huggins) as she is cleaning the rectory toilet—a meeting that sets the play’s tone as it sets up its next...
TONY FRANKELstage and cinema/bitter lemonscertified reviewerJune 22, 2011
Tony Frankel, theatre critic for Stage and Cinema here.
It is a testament to playwright Kate Fodor that 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW is such a triumph. Her tale of a de-frocked priest who comes home to roost with his mother thoroughly examines the need and the disappointment of religious faith. There is a veracity to her characters that makes us empathize with them.
Although some of the performances lack depth, the actors never force themselves to heighten the conflict in the story. As the priest, Matthew, Brendan Farrell may lack any internal struggle, but he has a genuineness that is satisfying. As Collen, the uptight, passive-aggressive mother of Matthew, Pamela Roylance is well cast, but her Irish lilt lacks authenticity.