Opening May 10th and going through June 10th, at Theatre 68, is Our Lady of 121st St. Directed by Joe Palese, written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and produced by Ronnie Marmo, the show reunites a group of acquaintances mourning the death of their teacher, Sister Rose.
Sister Rose was, apparently, a mean drunk of an Irish nun schoolteacher in Harlem when she fell in the gutter and died. But she had done so much selfless service in her life, that the kids she taught remembered her fondly and show up to the funeral home to pay respects only to find that someone has stolen the body.
The wonderful acting and intense scenes were marred by the lack of cohesive story. The ensemble included characters from all walks of life - a gay couple trying to determine their roles, a prostitute and pimp, a retarded boy and his protective older brother, an uptight sister, a Vietnam Vet priest, sex scandal and the church, and a divorced couple still holding on to their issues from fifteen years prior. Many of the scenes were humorous and all were touching, but they didn't seem to fit the storyline.
The ending, also, was very unsatisfactory as they never really dealt with the investigation into the disappearance of Sister Rose - only to say well -- I won't spoil it for you - but it felt like a throw away line put in just because they had to tie things up.
The play, when taken as a whole, was hard to follow. The acting was an 8, but the play was a 6.
Matt Richter was the award winning lightning director.
Some of the stars of this dark comedy were Ronnie Marmo (Balthazar), Ed Dyer (Vic), Moe Irvin (Rooftop), Daniel Hutchinson (Father Lux), Jonte Legras (Flip), Timothy Alonzo (Gail), Katy Jacoby (Inez), Claudine Claudio (Norca), Christian Monzon (Edwin), Ferin Petrelli (Sonia), Heidi Rhodes (Marcia), and Ray Cosico (Pinky.) While all the acting was great, Jonte, Christian, Ray and Timothy stood out
Tickets are $25 (Gen admission) and you can call 323 960 5068 or go to www.plays411.com/ourlady.