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“Good People” at Syracuse Stage through May 12

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Syracuse Stage anticipates good times for audiences with its “Good People” production.

David Lindsay-Abaire’s Tony Award-nominated play “Good People” tops the list of most produced plays nationwide during the 2012-13 season, according to the Theatre Communications Group, which is the theater industry’s largest trade organization.

It opened at Syracuse Stage’s Archbold Theatre, 820 E. Genesee St., on Wednesday. It runs through May 12.

The original stage presentation of “Good People” premiered at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. After opening on Broadway in 2011, it won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for best play and was nominated for a Tony Award for best play.

Before writing “Good People,” David Lindsay-Abaire received a Pulitzer Prize for “Rabbit Hole,” which was later adapted into an Oscar-nominated film starring Nicole Kidman. In addition, he wrote book and lyrics for “Shrek the Musical,” wrote for the animated movie “Rise of the Guardians” and co-wrote the screenplay for “Oz the Great and Powerful.”

Mr. Lindsay-Abaire’s childhood spent in Boston influenced his writing of “Good People.”

The story concerns Margie, a single mother in South Boston who just lost her job. She’s behind in her rent and has zero prospects. With nowhere to turn, she seeks out Mike, an old friend, who got away from South Boston. Margie’s journey from her old neighborhood to the upscale Chestnut Hill is fraught with twists and other plot surprises.

Syracuse Stage is co-producing “Good People” with Cleveland Play House, which also staged it this spring.

A reviewer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote, “Part of ‘Good People’s’ brilliance is that while the story is deceptively simple ... the psychological and emotional stakes are almost unbearably high.”

Directing is Laura Kepley, associate artistic director at Cleveland Play House.

The production of “Good People” features a cast of six: Tony-nominated Denny Dillon (as Dottie), who is an alumna of Syracuse University and 1980-81 cast member of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”; Patrick Halley (as Stevie), who recently appeared in “The Taming of the Shrew” with Denver Center Theatre Company; Kate Hodge (as Margie), whose television and film credits include “The Following,” “Person of Interest,” “Blue Bloods” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III”; David Andrew Macdonald (as Mike), who appeared on Broadway in “Mamma Mia!,” “Coram Boy” and “Two Shakespearean Actors”; Zoey Martinson (as Kate), who appeared in “All’s Well That Ends Well” and 365 Days/365 Plays at The Public Theatre in New York City; and Elizabeth Rich (as Jean), who most recently appeared off-Broadway in the world premiere of “RX” by Kate Fodor.

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“Good People” will have an accompanying exhibit in Syracuse Stage’s Coyne Lobby by Pittsburgh photographer Dylan Vitone and his “South Boston Project.” It is based on his research that found South Boston “Still lived in the shadows of the 1970s racial riots it endured when the United States government tried to integrate South Boston schools.” Mr. Vitone’s project found that South Boston developed its own identity.

“The individuals living there turned to the community itself for strength. In the process they developed a sense of identity and pride that seems to be their own,” Mr. Viton writes on his website.

the details of ‘Good people’
WHAT: Syracuse Stage presents “Good People” by David Lindsay-Abaire.
WHERE: Archbold Theater, 820 E. Genesee St.
WHEN: 3 and 8 p.m. today, 2 p.m. Sunday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. May 4, 2 and 7 p.m. May 5, 7:30 p.m. May 7 to 9, 8 p.m. May 10, 3 and 8 p.m. May 11 and 2 p.m. May 12.
COST: Tickets range from $30 to $51 for adults but $30 for those age 40 and under and $18 for those age 18 and under.
For ticket information, contact Syracuse Stage at 443-3275 or online at www.syracusestage.org.
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