Performing Arts: Theater
July 20, 2014
How important is our faith to us? Our beliefs? Our sense of self? And how do they define us? Do our beliefs stem from who we are - our histories and our families and our genes? Or do our beliefs define us – determine what we think, how we feel, what we are? And finally how comfortable are we with our friends’ beliefs? Do we really want to know what they think and how they feel about the bigger issues? These are just a few of the questions that Renee Calarco’s smart and snappy play, The Religion Thing, bring up in the course of two very quick hours. In the production currently running at The Cell and presented by Project Y Theatre Company, the audience get to watch two couples struggle with these questions and see the impact the struggle has on their relationships and on them individually.

Very smartly staged by Douglas Hall, the cast is strong across the board. Katharine McLeod as Mo and Jamie Geiger as Brian do a very convincing turn as a mixed-faith couple who have never been troubled by that fact because they have never considered it – until now. And Danielle O’Farrell as Patti and Andrew William Smith as Jeff are heartbreaking as a couple whose faith has buoyed them through intense personal challenges, but at the potential cost of their individual selves. The fifth wheel of the cast is Curran Connor who has the extraordinary challenge of playing multiple characters. It’s a tough acting assignment and while he works hard, he never fully sells the idea. Overall, it’s a engaging, thought-provoking evening of theatre and a well-spent evening at the theatre.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY--Kelly Johnston

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