REVIEW: AGNES OF GOD at Vintage Theatre

by Michael Mulhern

“I still want to believe that somewhere, somehow, there is a happy ending for every story. It all depends on how thoroughly you look for it and how badly you need it.”

Summoned to a convent, Dr. Martha Livingstone is charged with assessing the sanity of a novice nun accused of murdering her newborn. Who killed the infant and who fathered the tiny victim? Livingstone’s questions force all three women to re-examine the meaning of faith and the power of love.

When you see names like Haley Johnston and Emma Messenger in a production, you make a mental note to attend the show; but when they are both starring together in a play, you run to the theater.

Haley Johnson was superb as the compassionate Dr. Livingston and she knows her dramatic pauses. Her complex character really intrigued the audience. Emma Messenger showed such a lovely character arch as Mother Miriam Ruth from seemingly sweet Mother Superior in the beginning and growing in strength and intensity. The power struggle between these two was absolutely fascinating to watch. Each ot these fine actresses showed amazing intensity, especially in Act II.

It can be a little intimidating to be paired with two of the best actresses in Denver (in my opinion), but Mariela Goffredi was up to the task as Agnes. With her whispiness and alabaster skin, she captivated the audience from beginning to end. I actually felt my attention drawn to her everytime she was onstage and her gut wrenching recollection of having the baby left no dry eye in the house. I will delicately be looking for this actress in productions to come.

Director Craig Bond hand picked an absolutely superb cast for this intense show. He paid special attention to the power struggles and reversals that really draw the audience in and the flow was perfect  

I was a little confused by the set from designer Cheryl Brodzinsky. While I appreciated the ethereal feeling of the set, I felt it was a bit much (especially the damn crinoline to create all the puffy clouds. When you have such extraordinary actresses onstage dealing with such heavy content, sometimes less is more. With that said I had to say that I am always amused how Vintage so creatively and effectively utilizes this small black box theater every time I experience a show there!

Another thought-provoking and emotionally moving grand slam for this talented theater company!

Vintage Theatre’s AGNES OF GOD is enthralling audiences now through July 8th. Tickets are available online at www.vintagetheatre.org or by calling 303-856-7830. Vintage Theatre is located at 1468 Dayton St. in Aurora, CO.

PHOTO CREDIT:  RDG Photography

 

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