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Curtain Up: Who are the “Good People?”


Published Apr 1, 2012 8:00 AM


Photo courtesy of the Geffen Playhouse.

Is opportunity granted or earned? That is the basic question posed in Good People starring Jane Kaczmarek, which opens at the Geffen Playhouse on April 3. The play, nominated for a Tony Award last year, centers on Margie Walsh, single mother of a handicapped child and fired from her job as a clerk at the dollar store for excessive tardiness.

Unemployed, Margie faces eviction by her landlord, who also is her pal for her one diversion, bingo. Stuck in the poverty of South Boston, where she grew up, feisty Margie sees her only ticket out in a classmate and former boyfriend who got away— to the good side of town.

When she finds him, though, she also finds herself out of her element, in a place where she doesn't belong and doesn't know the rules of the game. It's quickly apparent just how much her destiny and that of her old beau have diverged, and how uncertain his loyalties are to the old neighborhood, let alone an old flame.

Kaczmarek, a Geffen veteran, appeared in In Mother Words last year. Besides her many stage credits, she starred for seven years in the Emmy Award-winning TV series Malcolm in the Middle, for which she won an AFI Actor of the Year award.

Written by David Lindsay-Abaire, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Rabbit Hole, Good People is a provocative look into the lives of the haves and havenots and the ever-growing chasm between them— not an irrelevant topic in our current economic climate. Its world premiere was last year on Broadway at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, with Frances McDormand as Margie.

Good People. April 3-May 13. Geffen Playhouse. Tickets: $45-$75. Subscriptions available. For more information, visit or call (310) 208-5454.