Saving Grace

The Shawnee Theatre of Greene County is presenting Jack Sharkey’s comedy "Saving Grace." Director Mathew Graeber and a solid cast present a show that was warmly received by Thursday’s opening night crowd.

The cast is a mix of Shawnee veterans with outstanding newcomer Jeffrey Taylor. "Saving Grace" opens as secretary Grace Larkin, played with a charming weary innocence, by Clarisse Behr, is about to succumb to the unrelenting campaign of her insurance executive boss, Walter Chepple. Lebron Benton as Walter manages to make him a good deal more human than monstrous. Things get complicated when a telephone repairman played by Jeffrey Taylor arrives.

As you might expect in any Shawnee Theatre production, shenanigans ensue. Somehow, and I’m a little fuzzy on this, it becomes vital that the telephone repairman pretend that he is actually a professional burglar. In addition, he’s a burglar who’s married to Grace. Grace’s sister Hariet played by Kathryn Pleasant Joos arrives. More shenanigans ensue. Hariet is closely pursued by her fiancé, Jonathan Markanday, a wild "Robin Williams style" fundamentalist preacher. Still more shenanigans ensue!

By the end of the evening everyone in "Saving Grace" has become a bit wiser. The preacher has been rebuked for intolerance and departed to a substantial amount of individual applause.

Grace’s boss, Walter, has proved a good deal more human and vulnerable than we thought. Grace’s sister Hariet has become a bit more down to earth and savvy. Walter and Hariet are nicely paired.

Grace herself has had quite an evening of experience and sees herself in a much more positive way. Alex, has confessed that he is not a criminal burglar, but merely a regular repairman. Alex and Grace are in love. If this were Shakespeare, we’d have a wedding song and dance.

"Saving Grace" at the Shawnee Theatre of Greene County plays this evening and Saturday at eight.

You can see this and other WFIU theatre and opera reviews on our web site at WFIU dot Indiana dot edu.

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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