GOOD PEOPLE (Walnut): Grumpy Professor Review


GOOD PEOPLE is suffering a weak production at the venerable Walnut Street Theatre for seven weeks until April 28th. Criticizing the Walnut is like insulting the Queen, but this offering is the wrong play for the wrong theater. Bernard Havard, the producing director, regularly insists that his plays are for family viewing, but the foul-mouthed characters seem inappropriate for his “popular audience.” The playwright, David Lindsay-Abaire, by the script’s directions, didn’t much consider how there could be easy changes of the set for the play’s nine scenes. At the end of each scene, there was a stage wait of five to seven minutes while furniture was put in place and scenery came flying down. I saw an early performance of the play, and the clumsy stage hands were bungling about on a black stage with flashlights trying to figure out what went where! Worse of all was the use of the highly undependable—and I think unnecessary—turntable. This rough-talking play would have been done better by Theatre Exile or the New City Stage Company with a few set pieces. To my way of thinking, Mr. Havard insisted in showing off the work of his scenery shop and set designer, and I bet even in its seventh week of performances, Lori Aghazarian and Debi Marcucci, the stage managers, will be on the side stages with rosary beads praying that the gosh darn turntable works! March 12 to April 28, 2013.

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About the author

The Grumpy Professor, John T DAlessandro PhD

John T. D'Alessandro, PhD, is a former professor for Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania and has taught English and theater at universities and high schools in the Philadelphia and South Jersey areas. He has directed over 20 Broadway musicals in non-professional productions for colleges, high schools and community theater groups. He can be contacted directly at