Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 2, 2010

To Forgive, Divine

New Century Theatre, Northampton, MA
through July 10, 2010
by Eric Johnson

What if, if only, would have, should have, could have. This delightful Jack Neary play is about all the choices we make and the tendency, for some, to second guess some of those choices. "To Forgive, Divine" is both funny and poignant, sometimes unexpectedly.

Outstanding performances by a talented and well selected cast under the direction of the author himself come together to create a highly enjoyable evening of theatre. Young and talented Nora Kaye (Margaret) gives an admirable performance as a teenager in a world of adults, a world gone mad at times. The prim and proper Milly, ably played by Barbara McEwan, is both crusty and loving, a drill sergeant with a heart. Father Jerry Dolan is a very kind and dedicated priest, yet at the same time a man with desires. David Mason plays these personas confidently and believably. Sandra Blaney's Katie is at once a headstrong, mature woman and a scared girl. Blaney manages to portray both simultaneously and it is wonderful to behold. Ralph, played by Ed Jewett, is a caveman, pure and simple. Jewett is akin to a force of nature on stage. His commanding presence and impeccable timing are perfect for the character.

Margot Leonard's set design is full of detail and authenticity. At first glance it is clear that the audience is looking at a church sacristy; subsequent glances make it clear that a lot of thought and work went in to this set. Nicely done. Costumes by Abbie Chase work very well, the period and setting are nicely represented.

NCT's second offering of their 20th anniversary season is a show worth seeing. There did seem to be a few moments in the show that could use a bit of tightening up, but they were few and far between. For an opening night this is certainly forgivable, and to forgive is, divine.