The Potomac Theatre Project revives Cecil Philip Taylor's drama, which examines Nazi Germany and asks how did a nation go mad? How were normal people transformed into brutes, devoid of ordinary humanity? More…
Set in Germany as Hitler rises to power, 'Good' takes place partly inside the mind of a 'good' man: Professor John Halder. Unconsciously, this well-meaning scholar is slowly led into participating in the hell that was the Holocaust. Performed in repertory with 'No End of Blame.'
"Petosa's vision for 'Good' was clean and precise. His staging was fluid with a theatrical sensibility. He infused humor in order to escape being bogged down by the heaviness of the backdrop. This also allowed the weight to settle and unravel in remarkable fashion...'Good' was lead by Michael Kaye in a boundless performance...'Good' was not just good, it was great. PTP/NYC continues to provide stimulating, thought-provoking theater." Full Review
"Taylor’s important and dauntingly relevant 'Good' chronicles how this good person becomes an ally of all that is not good about Nazi Germany. It is a compelling and engaging look into the dynamics of delusional behavior and how easy it is to do the wrong thing in times of crisis...Under Petosa’s deft direction, the ensemble cast grapples successfully with Taylor’s script to reveal important themes that raise rich and enduring questions that are as relevant currently as they were in the past." Full Review
"Kaye as Halder and Spears as Maurice draw us in immediately and we believe them and their choices...In the end, I walked out of the theater dissatisfied. I had the nagging feeling that I hadn’t gotten what I came in looking for. Until it struck me that I had come in looking for easy reassurances that it couldn’t happen to me and it couldn’t happen here...In the final analysis, that’s the subtle genius of this play...You will certainly be thinking about it long after you leave the theater." Full Review
"Director Petosa places the seductive dreaminess of romance, desire and self-satisfied ambition under the grip of a nightmare that sheds none of its savagery with the passing of time…John’s career-rise and morality-fall via what Maurice calls his 'Nazi school of psychiatry' are convincing…The play is elevated by a group of actors who are evidently committed to the work and to collaboration…Out of the two plays, 'Good' is the dominant force, but both are persuasive and worryingly topical." Full Review
"The greatest strength of the play is that almost none of Halder's choices appears to be unreasonable, except through the lens of hindsight available to the audience...What disturbs most about the play is its demonstration of how easily a 'good' person can become caught up in a movement that leads to horrendous consequences. Even as he dons the full uniform of a Nazi SS officer, Halder clings to the notion that he is serving a greater good." Full Review
“In the early 1980s, Taylor's choice to chronicle an ostensibly good man's activities as a member of the Third Reich in a play with frisky songs and bits of comedy was unorthodox. Thirty-five years later, that choice fits comfortably with a popular aesthetic of irony and snark; and the Brechtian detours in Taylor's script seem more insightful than audacious now." Full Review
"Adolf Hitler and the Nazis created an extraordinary propaganda machine and manipulated a nation; 'Good' shows exactly how it was accomplished...The overall set design is inventive yet simple...The lighting is sketchy, too often leaves the actors in the dark, and feels like an afterthought...Frankly, the great challenge for director Jim Petosa’s heart-wrenching revival is the backdrop of politics 2016." Full Review
"These are pessimistic plays, to be sure, but the productions brim with energy and humor. Both are staged simply, so that the focus stays on the texts and actors, who are impressive across the board…Michael Kaye is pitch-perfect as the conflicted, myopic Halder, a man by turns grandiose, dignified, and befuddled. Though timely, neither play is perfect...One does hope that its future seasons will include voices more directly in dialogue with the specific exigencies of our moment." Full Review
"Michael Kaye captures nearly everything about Halder...The actor shows how each of Halder's moral concessions is meant to be a one-off, a necessary accommodation to maintain his place in the world...And yet, 'Good' stops short of delivering a knockout punch...'Good' has always been a problematic piece. Yet, in its mordant depiction of truth's fungibility when dictators rule, it can still get under one's skin...It provided more than enough thoughts for a sleepless night." Full Review
“Performances by Kaye, Spears, Duffy, and Chaffee are excellent, with strong support by others mentioned, plus Amanda Whiteley, Christo Grabowski, and Jesse Garlick. Jim Petosa’s direction is oddly inconsistent, with many characters unnecessarily remaining onstage during others’ scenes, which, to me, made no point and was sometimes even distracting. But, overall, ‘Good’ is strong, vital theater and is definitely apropos given today’s political climate in the United States.” Full Review
“The stronger of the two is 'Good'...A stealthily constructed drama whose experimental use of music - as something that lives in the mind of its main character - doesn’t quite come off here. What does is the insidious way that morally abhorrent ideas and systems can grow to seem quite normal, their harms rationalized away by ordinary citizens who would rather not look ugliness in the face.” Full Review
“The fact that burning books, and later Jews, is logically justified by this intelligent mind, makes the play by Cecil Philip Taylor desperately painful…Halder’s attachment to material pleasures, no matter where they come from, the willingness to alter his principles to the point where they are turned upside down, and indifference to 'the others' makes him a very real and timeless character with which we don’t sympathize but hopefully are able to identify ourselves.” Full Review
"A sobering evening…'Good' is a horrifying tragedy, with many comic and musical interludes...I think this particular production was less successful with the comedy and the music, but the acting, especially from the lead actor, was mainly very strong and that made the second act and the arc of the play pretty compelling. There were some odd, weak directorial choices, but there were also some very strong and powerful statements...Everything seemed so relevant and timely, at times it was scary." Full Review
"The production's touch isn't entirely sure—and Taylor certainly has no interest in being subtle—yet the play can still be distressingly effective...Petosa's production is deft in domestic scenes...The piece seems less certain when the text grows more stylized. Taylor wrote his work as a comic grotesque. Neither Petosa, nor set designer Evancho serves this element of Taylor's fantasy, which leaves some sections of the evening strangely sagging." Full Review
"Despite strenuous storytelling, it is easy to emerge from this production more confused than when it began…Director Jim Petosa occasionally achieves moments that are both beautiful and terrible in their theatricality...Mostly, the actors stand around aimlessly as one scene bleeds into the next. Moments of levity (like a high-kicking Hitler) land with a thud, leaving us to feel as though we're witnessing bargain-brand Brecht." Full Review
See it if Great acting, interesting&unique scene setup, war themes, plays w music, but not musicals, great costuming, deep thinking, profound plays
Don't see it if You don't like war reminders, scenes of Nazis & Holocaust turn your stomach (that was a touch scene to watch), current event relevance.
See it if you like historical drama. This one with an interesting twist. It scared me on a deep level to see how easily people rationalize their hate.
Don't see it if you're a Trump supporter. You will not like how your kind is portrayed. They get it spot on perfect.
See it if you like strong drama about the holocaust. Creative staging and the lead actor is strong in the role. The play moves you.
Don't see it if stories about the holocaust trouble you. You have to stay focused to fully understand the through-line.
See it if We expected more as we were thrilled with the No End Of Blame production at the matinee. Still some great acting.
Don't see it if your are not in the mood to see a sometimes confusing of a well acted moral problem for the protagonist in Nazi Germany.
See it if / The play succeeds in putting you in the shoes of someone whose life choices seem unfathomable. It sneaks up on you in a good way.
Don't see it if you want something short and sweet, or escapist. This show purposely keeps you firmly in our current political climate and doesn't let go.
See it if you want to see a really bad production of a really excellent play. Fortunately, I saw the original so I know how bad this is.
Don't see it if your taste in theatre is above rank amateurism. Some of the actors in this play teach acting. Oy!
See it if You like historical plays about how "good" people become monsters because of politics Scary and relevant today. Great direction and staging
Don't see it if You want excellent acting and a sympathetic main character who has depth. Never a surprise about the story. Dialogue at times pretentious.
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