Theatre Review: Waiting for Lefty & Still Waiting

The Boston College Theatre Department’s 2017-2017 season is off to a dynamic start! Check out the glowing reviews below for the dual production Waiting for Lefty & Still Waiting, directed by Patricia Riggin.

And be sure to mark your calendars for the upcoming BC Theatre Department shows, The Misanthrope  November 16th-20th! Click here for the Facebook event details or here for the Theatre Department website for more information about this scathing comedic satire written by Molière! Boston College’s performance, directed by Dr. Theresa Lang ,shouldn’t be missed, especially with the BC Theatre Department in such fine form (read the theatre review below to see what we’re talking about).

Review By Alexa Villareal

waitingforlefty

(photo from Boston College Theatre Department’s Facebook. Follow them for more info on upcoming performances and events!)            

BC Theatre Department‘s dual production of Waiting for Lefty & Still Waiting is a unique take on Clifford Odets original play, Waiting for Lefty, that brings workers’ struggles to the modern day. Code Blue by Kade Snodgrass, Labrats by Melinda Lopez, and Pipe Dreams by Sheri Wilner make up & Still Waiting, the second portion of the performance. The four individual plays convey a powerful message that reminds us that unions and workers’ struggles are not merely problems of the past, but are painfully present today.

The intricate set does a spectacular job of representing both the past and the present. Large suspended steel beams take up the center stage, contrasted by the digital images that were on the sides of the stage. During the Waiting for Lefty portion of the play, the digital images portrayed images from the early twentieth century of people picketing and on strike for workers rights. For the second half of the performance, the digital images changed to match the appropriate theme for the other three plays and the focal point on stage shifted from the old steel beams to more modern features.

The actors did a spectacular job at portraying the various problems individuals and families face when they are not being treated fairly by the workplace. Waiting For Lefty told the stories of raw, emotional fights, like the fight between the broke taxi driver, Joe (Michael Pisaturo), and his wife, Edna (Michaela Dolishny), to Dr. Barnes (Christine Schmitt) and Dr. Benjamin (Stephen Kiely). The desperation and conflict felt in the individual characters stories was contrasted with the spine-chilling scenes of unity, where the entire cast presented a united front, accompanied by guitars and fiddles, to protest the treatment of workers.

In an impassioned performance of Code Blue by Cassie Chapados, Michaela Dolishny, Clare Zhou and Lexi Auth, the actresses embodied the modern day struggle of nurses, and the inner conflicts they faced: having to chose between demanding their profession allow them to care for themselves, or caring for their patients. Labrats shows the discrimination that still exists within governments and organizations today through a moving testimony of the character Omar (Raymond Norville) who has to choose between providing opportunities for his wife and children and doing the research he believes is important. Cassie Chapados and Michael Pisaturo and their portrayal of Florrie and Joe, two plumbers both awaiting a life-changing opportunity to become a plumbers apprentice, showcase the conflicts between two equally desperate people, both fighting the injustices of the work world.

 

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