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November 19, 2008 > Theater Review: Incorruptible

Theater Review: Incorruptible

By Susana Nunez

The year is 1250 AD, and much like today, times are tough. However, they're especially tough for a certain monastery awaiting a miracle to save them. Miracles don't seem to come by very often though, as the monastery's patron Ste. Foy doesn't deliver like she use to. And no miracles mean no visitors or donations, let alone a visit from the Pope to drop off a generous dole. In dire times like these, when there's no money to fund charitable work or even buy food, the resident monks find themselves at a loss over what to do. That is, until they meet a deceiving minstrel who makes a shocking, yet tempting suggestion.

Fremont's own Broadway West proudly presents "Incorruptible," playwright Michael Hollinger's acclaimed dark comedy. The play is part of the theater company's 12th season together, and it is yet another example of the quality productions the ensemble manages to put together season after season. "Incorruptible" features returning BW (Broadway West) talent as well as newcomers. Sara Renee Morris makes her debut as Marie, the minstrel Jack's wife of sorts, while Jonathan Murphy plays the virtuous Brother Felix, a monk whose conscience is uneasy with the current situation at the monastery. At the head of the operation is Dan Roach, who debuts as Charles, Abbot of Priseaux and leader of the monks. All three newcomers make a memorable impact on the BW stage and already have visible chemistry with the company's seasoned actors.

Throughout the production, audiences witness as the characters go from noble monks to desperate men in need. Morals go askew and they begin to question just how far they will go in the name of God. Without revealing any details of their scheme, the monastery's burial grounds become a goldmine for the monks, who are convinced that they are simply fulfilling their roles as men of faith. Grave digging ensues, and the horrific becomes the order of the day.

The relatively smaller scale production suits the charming Broadway West Theater perfectly. Taking place in the Middle Ages, it calls for a minimalist set. It's sometimes difficult to be attentive and not feel confined during a play when it all takes place in a single setting, but the actors gave it their all to bring their characters to life. Not letting themselves be dragged down by the bland monk robes and dull pallet of the times, the actors truly differentiated themselves from one another. Visuals are important, and when establishing their characters, the actors successfully used body movements and facial expressions to add color to their personas and make up for the static setting.

Broadway West has delivered once more, and it takes an exceptional cast to pull off an unconventional production like "Incorruptible." The show isn't for the faint of heart or young ones, but teens and adults will definitely enjoy the show. The play will be running from November 14- December 20. Ticket prices are as follows: $22 for adults, $17 for seniors/ students/ TBA members. All seats are $22 on Sundays, and Thursdays are $15 for all. All admission prices include refreshments. Performance times are as follows:

Written by Michael Hollinger
Directed by Troy Johnson
Associate Directors: Mary Galde and Dawn E. Cates

Broadway West
November 14- December 20
8pm: Fridays and Saturdays
8pm: Thursdays, Nov. 20, Dec. 4, 11, and 18
1pm: Sundays, Nov. 23, Dec. 7 and 14
4000-B Bay St., Fremont
(510) 683-9218

Sunday Continental Brunch at 12:15 and English Tea at Intermission
Actor Q&A will be held after the show Sunday, Dec. 14.

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