Reluctant Messiah

McKeever's new play probes the meaning of one man's phenomenal good fortune

As with most new plays, this one could use more development. McKeever's testimonial device is efficient, but it guts the theatrical event of much on-stage fire. The play's heat and energy would be enhanced with at least one showdown between the story's two active characters (and philosophical antagonists) -- the logical, rationalistic psychiatrist and the mystical, irrational Sister Felicity. More centrally, Andy is the play's obvious central character, but he may not be the dramatic protagonist -- he's actually quite passive, a troubled guy who's about as proactive as a wet sock in a dryer. He's not driving the story, he's getting tempest-tossed from one overwhelming event to the next. It may well be that the psychiatrist, with his ordered, rational view of the world and deep unresolved emotional wounds (the death of his son and subsequent breakup of his marriage) makes a more potent protagonist in this tale of belief, disbelief, and guilt. As now written, the psychiatrist, who seeks to help Andy confront his survivor guilt, never comes to terms with his own, while the mystery of Andy's supposed powers is never resolved. Will McKeever return to work on this promising play or will he count his kudos and rest on his laurels? Wait and see.

Richberg: The luckiest guy in the world?
Richberg: The luckiest guy in the world?

Details

By Michael McKeever, directed by Barbara Lowery. With: Bridget Connors, Nicholas Richberg, Bill Schwartz and Barry Tarallo. Through Oct. 3. 305 443-5909 or www.new-theatre.org
New Theatre, 4120 Laguna Street, Coral Gables

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