According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Mercy on the Doorstep

A woman, Corrine, just lost her husband and lies sleeping on the couch. In comes her step-daughter, Rena and Rena’s husband, Mark. Rena and Mark now own the house and everything in it. Corrine has been cut of her husband’s will.

The circumstances linking these characters couldn’t be more chaotic, and based on the simple living room set where most of the action takes place, you’d never expect all the turmoil that would ensue within. But unfortunately, there’s more to this story. If you think the fact that these three have been railroaded together is bad enough, add the fact that Corrine is an alcoholic while Rena and Mark are devout Christians – determined to save her.

Gip Hoppe’s Mercy on the Doorstep portrays the lives of these three individuals as they try to cope with the loss of their loved one, deal with each other’s vices, and most importantly, desperately try to understand each other.

It is not until near-tragedy occurs that each character finally does understand a bit more of each other. But rather than insist on changing one another, they finally just learn to accept the things they cannot change.

When you try to figure out exactly who is giving “Mercy” and who is asking for it, you realizie that it’s no longer entirely clear. But what is clear is that by the end of the performance, everyone has changed for the better. Gip Hoppe’s play demonstrates love, friendship, understanding and acceptance at their very best. A wonderful performance, with an all all-star cast, it’s a show we all just might learn from.

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