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Compelling, Funny Southie Story by Local Pulitzer Prize Winner Comes Home to Boston To Begin Huntington Theatre Company's 31st Season

(BOSTON) – Good People, Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston native David Lindsay-Abaire’s humor-filled Broadway hit about identity, fate, and class, comes home to Boston to open the Huntington Theatre Company’s 31st season. Nationally renowned Kate Whoriskey (Ruined and How I Learned to Drive Off Broadway) directs the Huntington’s production of the New York Drama Critic’s Circle award winner that features Johanna Day (God of Carnage and Carol Mulroney at the Huntington) as Margie Walsh.

The cast also includes local favorites Nancy E. Carroll (Brendan and Present Laughter at the Huntington) and South Boston native Karen MacDonald (All My Sons and Before I Leave You at the Huntington) – on stage together for the first time in their long and illustrious careers – as Margie’s Southie friends, as well as Michael Laurence (Desire Under the Elms on Broadway) as the high school boyfriend Margie tracks down in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Called, “Enthralling and utterly gripping” by the Los Angeles TimesGood People takes place in South Boston where this month’s paycheck covers last month’s bills and bingo is a night on the town. Sharp-tongued single-mom Margie Walsh has just been let go from yet another job and is facing eviction. Scrambling to make ends meet for herself and her developmentally disabled adult daughter, she looks up an old flame – now a fertility doctor living in Chestnut Hill with his young wife – hoping he’ll help her make a fresh start. Lindsey-Abaire’s acclaimed drama explores how twists of fate determine our path. The Boston Globe says, “Good People maps the fault lines of social class with a rare acuity of perception while also packing a substantial emotional wallop.”

“David's play explores complex social questions about class, luck, and escaping our roots with electric energy and sharp humor,” says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “Our production marks a homecoming for him, Kate, and this local story.” Hear more from DuBois about Good People.

Good People paints a very different portrait than recent films and literature of the storied Boston neighborhood. Rather than gritty and crime-laden, as depicted in Good Will Hunting and The Departed, Good People’s image of South Boston is drawn from the neighborhood in which Lindsay-Abaire grew up – one populated by everyday people whose individual situations either held them in the neighborhood or offered them a path out. Lindsay-Abaire’s path out was forged in part by a scholarship from the local Boys and Girls Club to the prestigious Milton Academy. There, his gift for writing was nurtured, and he subsequently became a playwright, librettist, lyricist, and screenwriter. 

“I spent many-a-summer with my dad selling fruit out of the back of his truck on a corner of Huntington Avenue right across the street from the Huntington,” recalls Lindsay-Abaire. “I would sell bags of plums to kids from BU and wonder what kinds of plays were performed inside. It was both thrilling and surreal to be inside that very theatre many years later, watching the Huntington’s wonderful production of my play Rabbit Hole

“I’m excited to be back with Good People, especially since it’s very much about and inspired by my hometown. It’s about class in America. It’s about choices and luck, and lack of both. It’s about the good people sitting inside that building in plush theatre seats, and the equally good people selling fruit out on the corner. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather see this play performed.”

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

The cast includes:

  • Nancy E. Carroll (Dottie): Prelude to a Kiss, Present Laughter, and Brendan at the Huntington; Present Laughter on Broadway;
  • Johanna Day (Margaret Walsh): God of Carnage and Carol Mulroney at the Huntington; August: Osage County, Proof (Tony and Lucille Lortel Award nominations), and Lombardi on Broadway;
  • Rachael Holmes (Kate): Ruined at Arena Stage; Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare on the Sound;
  • Michael Laurence (Mike): The Morini Strad at Primary Stages; Talk Radio on Broadway;
  • Karen MacDonald (Jean): All My Sons, Before I Leave You, and “M” (upcoming) at the Huntington; The Blonde, The Brunette, and the Vengeful Redhead (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); and
  • Nick Westrate (Stevie): Tribes (Off Broadway); and Galileo at Classic Stage Company. 

David Lindsay-Abaire’s (playwright) Rabbit Hole was produced at the Huntington in 2006. The play was honored with the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, five Tony Award nominations, and the Spirit of America Award. His most recent play, Good People, premiered on Broadway and received two Tony Award nominations and the 2011 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play of the Year. Other plays include Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World, and A Devil Inside. Lindsay-Abaire is also a screenwriter, lyricist, and librettist. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award and two Tony Awards (Best Score and Best Book of a Musical) for his work on Shrek The Musical and the Kleban Award as America’s most promising musical theatre lyricist. Lindsay-Abaire’s screen credits include the film adaptation of Rabbit Hole (starring Nicole Kidman, Academy Award nomination) and the upcoming Rise of the Guardians (Dreamworks) and Oz: The Great and Powerful(Disney).

Kate Whoriskey (director) directed The Miracle Worker on Broadway. Her Off Broadway credits include How I Learned to Drive (Second Stage Theatre), Ruined (Manhattan Theatre Club, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominations), The Piano Teacher (Vineyard Theatre), Oroonoko (Theatre for A New Audience), the world premieres of Fabulation and Inked Baby (Playwrights Horizons), and Massacre by José Rivera (Labyrinth Theater Company, member). Internationally, she directed Magdalena (Chatelet Theatre, Paris). Regional credits include Ruined, Vigils, Heartbreak House, The Rose Tattoo, and Drowning Crow (Goodman Theatre), The Tempest (Shakespeare Theatre Company), The Piano Teacher, Life is a Dream, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antigone, The Clean House, and the world premiere of Intimate Apparel (South Coast Repertory), Master Builder (American Repertory Theater), and productions at Geffen Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Perseverance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Sundance Theatre Lab, The Fisher Center, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. She is a graduate of NYU and the ART/MXAT Institute at Harvard University and is currently a visiting lecturer at Princeton University. She is a native of Acton, Massachusetts. 

Scenic design by Alexander Dodge (Present Laughter at the Huntington and on Broadway, Rapture, Blister, Burn at Playwrights Horizons); costume design by Ilona Somogyi (Clybourne Park on Broadway and at Playwrights Horizons, Maple and Vine at Playwrights Horizons); lighting design by Matthew Richards (Bell Book and Candle at Long Wharf Theatre, The Birds at the Guthrie Theater); sound design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (Private Lives and How Shakespeare Won the West at the Huntington). Production stage manager is Marti McIntosh. Stage Manager is Kathryn Most.

SPONSORS

  • Grand Patron: Boston University
  • Season Sponsors: Carol G. Deane, J. David Wimberly
  • Production Sponsors: Jill and Mitchell J. Roberts
  • Production Co-Sponsors: Linda and Bill McQuillan, Faith and Joseph Tiberio 

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON

Since its founding in 1982, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston’s leading theatre company. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current. Led by Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington creates award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The Huntington is in residence at Boston University. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.

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