by Willard Manus
Shanley's play, DOUBT, last year won prizes on Broadway for its writing
and acting. Now on national tour, DOUBT recently checked into the Ahmanson
Theatre for a five-week run. The four-character drama set in a 1964 Bronx
Catholic high school was a little lost in the cavernous Ahmanson, but
its power still managed to come through, thanks to Shanley's compelling
text, Doug Hughes' strong direction, and the actors' bravura performances.
Flynn is an equally strong and combative antagonist, which is of course what makes for good drama. The confrontation scenes between them crackle with urgency and tension. Caught in the ferocious verbal cross-fire are the young, idealistic Sister James (Lisa Joyce) and the black student's mother, Mrs Muller (Adriane Lenox).
Shanley doesn't try to solve the mystery of Sister Aloysius' charges against the priest, settling instead for a shocking--or is it liberating?--admission on her part that, for the first time in her life, she might have been wrong about something.
Next up at the Ahmanson is the Tony Award-winning musical, THE LIGHT IN THE PIZZA. 135 N. Grand Ave. Call (213) 6268-2772 or visit centertheatregroup.org