“urgency and intrigue … a riveting production” – Michael Rabice, broadwayworld.com

Published March 5, 2018 –

Unhappiness in rural Dublin– Not an altogether unlikely topic for a play. But when Buffalo’s Irish Classical Theatre included Conor McPherson’s THE NIGHT ALIVE as part of their season of comedies, I wondered how it fit the bill. Happily the play about unhappiness somehow morphs from dark comedy to a classic film noir script and ticks all the boxes for a riveting production.

McPherson, best known as the author of THE SEAFARER and THE WEIR, has an uncanny knack for sucking the audience in from the get go. Two characters with totally unknown pasts make a dramatic entrance and engage you immediately with wonder as to who they are and what their relationship may be. The details don’t matter as much as the sense of urgency and intrigue that McPherson creates. A snooping old man named Maurice pokes around a darkened dismal flat then scurries as a middle aged Tommy drags in Aimee, bloodied and beaten in some unknown row. Flickering lights, squalor and seediness are the backdrop for the drama that will unfold.

The brilliant Brian Mysliwy, last seen at ICTC as the harried and hilarious reservationist in FULLY COMMITED, anchors the drama with shocking credibility as Tommy, the nephew of Maurice. Living a miserable life of divorce, a bad job, and no prospects of love, Mysliwy throws himself behind every action, attempting to help everyone around him while unable to truly help himself. Cassie Gorniewicz matches Mysliwy head to head, as the prostitute Aimee who is taken in by Tommy. Gorniewicz oozes a rough helplessness that endears her plight to both Tommy and the audience. Often appearing strung out, she finally relaxes as her relationship with Tommy builds, but her background proves to be too much of a hurdle for both of them.

Kevin Craig helps balance the drama as Doc, Tommy’s friend with the “borderline personality.” Borderline here implies a borderline intelligence versus a personality disorder. His simple thoughts exasperate Tommy but also bring out a fatherly concern for a guy that is not wanted by his family and is happy to live life sleeping in Tommy’s van. Mr. Craig’s portrayal was often heartbreaking in his innocence, bringing a naïve nature to his desire to be included by someone.

Vincent O’Neill gives a powerful performance as the elderly and tottering Maurice. Living a life of darkness after witnessing his own wife’s death, his misery is palpable in body language and gestures. This scrooge of a character is both pitiful and to be pitied. Having raised Tommy when no one else would sheds light on the backstory of both men’s lives and wonders why they both have such little regard for each other.
Adam Yellen is disturbingly menacing as Kenneth, the hooligan boyfriend, aka pimp, of young Aimee. His command of the stage and physical abusiveness brings Act One to a shocking climax, making it clear that McPherson shows no fear of the darker side of life.

Director Brian Cavanagh has paced the production beautifully, allowing for gentler moments to complement the height of the drama. Working with Set Designer Paul Bostaph’s fabulous setting allowed for multiple playing areas– a feat that is not easy for a theatre in the round staging. The dismal flat is full of filth, debris and mismatched furniture. Tommy snacking on dog biscuits and blowing dust out of tea cups paints a picture of the gloom. Cavanagh’s light design is subtle and portending, taking full advantage of the “noir” of the subject.

THE NIGHT ALIVE succeeds in McPherson’s attempt to bring a gritty reality to the stage, never afraid of exposing the raw sides of the common man. The darkness of night is the perfect setting for this dark tale, often played out in the dim recesses of the stage, where shadow reigns and a full blown sunrise never seems to be on the horizon for these sad souls.

4 STARS! – “‘The Night Alive’ Shines with Dark Humor & Vivid Power” – The Buffalo News

by Melinda Miller,
Published March 3, 2018 –

There is a lot to like about Irish Classical Theatre’s production of “The Night Alive,” Conor McPherson’s dark comedy about a clutch of life’s losers trying to make a go of it in modern-day Dublin. McPherson has a sure hand with dialogue and gift for knowing just how much fear and despair he can pile an audience before giving them a much-needed laugh-out-loud release.

And the actors who are bringing McPherson’s work to life make the most of it.

The story is centered on Tommy, a hapless sort of hero … Brian Mysliwy plays him like he has known him all his life. He gives voice to Tommy’s casual profanity like he learned it as his mother’s knee, deftly applying it as punctuation for every moment, as he pushes along just doing the best he can. …

For a good part of the play the only real threat to this drifting existence is Tommy’s uncle and landlord, Maurice, an often drunken widower who interjects himself at inopportune times and knows more than he lets on. Vincent O’Neill plays the old-timer with gleeful relish, not quite hiding a rather decent heart under his gruff demeanor.

In a time when splashy musicals are getting the lion’s share of theatrical attention, McPherson, who is still in his 40s, is coming up with intense and satisfying drama. “The Night Alive” shines with excellent performances, challenging themes and a fair share of humor, including a particularly appreciated gag involving a bag of turnips.

It is what Irish Classical does best.

Read full review @ http://buffalonews.com/2018/03/03/the-night-alive-shines-with-a-dark-humor-and-vivid-power/.

4 stars

“Triumphant … a splendid production”-Michael Rabice, broadwayworld.com

Published January 29, 2018 –

Buffalo’s Irish Classical Theatre continues its season of comedies with a splendid production of W. Somerset Maugham’s THE CONSTANT WIFE. In lesser hands the story of a wife who appears to turn a blind eye to her husband’s infidelities could come across as a dreadfully dated and unbelievable drawing room comedy of 1926. This period in theatrical history allowed love to be proclaimed to the mountains, despite who was in earshot -where a woman’s place was in the home, lest it be thought that her husband was unable to provide for her- where rest cures in far off countries were the panacea to every ailment- and where propriety was tantamount.

Director David Oliver, whose fine direction includes ICTC’s triumph EQUUS, lets the work unfold without letting it run the risk of becoming a melodramatic museum piece. The stock characters are all there– the apparent innocent wife, a philandering husband, the perky other woman, the unsympathetic mother-in-law, the acerbic sister, and a head over heels in love former boyfriend. They all encircle the constant wife, aptly named Constance, who must decide how to cope with the lot in life that she has been dealt. Similarities abound to Clare Boothe Luce’s 1936 play THE WOMEN, where a bevy of women all have their own ideas on how to deal with a man’s infidelities.

ICTC favorite Kate LoConti revels in the juicy role of Constance and is a joy to watch. Her coyness and quick thinking wit are reminiscent of the plucky roles inhabited by a young, no nonsense Katherine Hepburn. What at first comes off as a naive scorned wife morphs through Constance’s own brilliant calculations to a wife who is in complete control of her difficult situation. LoConti’s comfort in the role is palpable, as she laughs, struts and ultimately declares that her own sexual freedom is paramount and the double standard applied to the sexes is something she is not prepared to accept.

Surrounded by her family at the most inopportune times allows comic bon mots to spew from Josephine Hogan as her mother, Mrs. Culver. Born in the Victorian era, she is willing to accept male infidelities as commonplace as long as the woman is well cared for and well dressed. Ms. Hogan is having a grand time, lounging about, eating chocolates and proclaiming ” I have my own ideas about marriage. If a man neglects his wife it’s her own fault, and if he’s systematically unfaithful to her in nine cases out of ten she only has herself to blame.”

Meanwhile younger sister Martha (played by the spunky Kristin Bentley) seethes watching her sister being played the fool. Ms. Bentley more than holds her own and dominates scenes were she extols how a “modern woman” should be handling Constance’s situation.

Kelsey Mogensen is utterly charming as the dumb blonde other woman, Marie-Louise. Maugham’s twist here is that she also is Constance’s best friend. When LoConti and Mogensen are paired there is so much cleverness in the the writing that the comedy in their plight is sublime. Meanwhile Eric Michael Rawski, as the husband Dr. John Middleton, plays the cheater with broad brush strokes that sometimes border on camp. His facial expressions and incredulity are often scene stealing as the details of his affair are made public.

The company is rounded out with the the charming Kristen Tripp Kelley as Constance’s friend Barbara who empowers her to join the work force. Jon May does well as the simpering love struck former boyfriend Bernard, while Elliot Fox plays against type and elicits great laughs as Marie-Louise’s suspicious husband, Mortimer.

Set designer David Dwyer has chosen lovely pieces of furniture to evoke the period, complemented by fine background musical choices. Unfortunately, not every detail has been given such care. Ms. LoConti’s entrance costume and hair bordered on disastrous, as she wore a faded ill fitting dress, little make up and badly styled hair. As the titular character, whose glamorous appearance is commented upon in the script, she deserved better, and given the fine acting and other high production values it is time for ICTC to beef up their resources. Period pieces call for period fashions and given the audience’s close proximity to the actors, such details do not go unnoticed.

It’s not often that we get to see plays from the early 20th century play out as comically convincing as this production of THE CONSTANT WIFE. Under Mr. Oliver’s thoughtful direction Constance takes her unfortunate “me too” predicament and triumphs as she has the last laugh.

THE CONSTANT WIFE plays at Buffalo’s Irish Classical Theatre through February 11, 2018. Contact irishclassical.com for more information.


3-1/2 STARS! “‘The Constant Wife’ is a constant pleasure” – The Buffalo News

By Colin Dabkowski, The Buffalo News  | Published 7:00 a.m. January 24, 2018

Constance Middleton is one cool customer.

She takes a liberal view of infidelity.  She blithely compares the notion of sex with her husband to eating cold mutton. And while she certainly thinks men are sweet, she also believes that it would be “absurd to take them seriously.”

In the dim light of the Andrews Theatre, where David Oliver’s marvelous production of “The Constant Wife” is running through Feb. 11, it’s possible to detect many female heads nodding in agreement.

As Kate LoConti delivers W. Somerset Maugham’s breezy and blunt observations about the hopelessness of the marriage contract in the face of human nature, it feels as fresh as a Dan Savage column.

Here, straight from Maugham’s pointed pen and the mouth of the remarkable Kate LoConti as Constance, is yet more evidence of how little American society has progressed since Ethel Barrymore played the role of Constance in 1926 …

LoConti, who has turned in fine performances in the recent Irish Classical Theatre Company productions “Design for Living” and “The Winslow Boy” nearly outshines the material. She is effervescent …

It’s difficult to say precisely what makes LoConti’s stage presence so compelling, but it has something to do with her ability to appear both unruffled and utterly engaged with the life of her own mind. Both Barrymore and Buffalo’s Katharine Cornell had great success (if mixed reviews) with their appearances as Constance, and it seems clear that LoConti can hold her own in their company.

Read full review here.

“smart banter, sassy wit … funny & empowering”- buffalotheatreguide

by Cherie Messore, buffalotheatreguide.com,
Published January 22, 2018

Back in 1926 – when women’s suffrage was a recent memory in the UK as well as the US –  there was Constance Middleton. Strong, savvy, sly, and she’s “The Constant Wife”  in W. Somerset Maugham’s comedy of manners presented now through February 11  at the Irish Classical Theatre Company.

. . .Maugham may have penned this “The Constant Wife” nearly a century ago, but the message and inspiration are more relevant today than ever:  strong women aren’t fooled by weak men.

Constance, beautifully portrayed by Kate LoConti, has it all: a lovely home, a place in society, a doctor for a husband, one pragmatic friend, one perky friend, and a mother and younger sister who are there to keep her grounded and alert…or at least that’s what they think. She also has – gasp! – a philandering husband. And the object of his affection is – gasp encore! – her perky friend. Even more delicious is the attention of a long-ago suitor who arrives on her doorstep at a propitious moment.

What unfolds is a funny and  (strangely, wonderfully) empowering evening as Constance surprises everyone but herself as she charts brave new paths through old society. There’s plenty of smart banter, sassy wit, and twisted social mores here. All good.

LoConti as Constance is grand: she’s strong and determined and elegant. Josephine Hogan is her mother Mrs. Culver who –not unlike women of her generation – accepts that yes, men do stray.  And women are meant to tolerate it as the natural course. Even her definition of true love (“could you use his toothbrush?”) brings a shudder.

Younger sister Martha is indignant with all this, and wants to inform her sister. Kristin Bentley plays this to the hilt: she’s outraged with a current of comeuppance underneath it. Bentley as Martha is solid, if a bit twitchy, as she tries to understand her mother’s tolerance and her sister’s cool grace with all this. ICTC mainstay Kristen Tripp Kelley is the pragmatic friend, Barbara, owner of a successful interior design company who offers Constance work, wisely knowing that financial independence is the one thing Constance’s marriage can’t buy.

It’s Kelsey Mogensen as Marie-Louise Durham, the “greatest friend” and other woman, who is all fresh charm and appeal. She dazzles as the younger woman, with bobbed bouncy curls, shorter flouncy dresses, and a chirpy delight in life’s little secrets. Even her despair at being found out is exuberant and a joy to watch.

In his first appearance on this stage, Jon May is irresistible as the suave and debonair old beau Bernard.  Does Constance love him or is she merely relieved to know another man finds her appealing? Eric Michael Rawski lies and harrumphs his way along as two-timing Dr. Middleton in fine stoic style. Elliot Fox is a stitch as wronged husband Moritmer: he appears on stage all hellfire and brimstone, swiftly bowing to Constance’s insistence that he just can’t be right in his assessment.

David Dwyer’s sparse set depicts the Middleton’s stately home perfectly: I loved the ironically empty picture frames that suggest the presence of walls, and the changing vases of flowers that tick down the passage of time.

Maugham may have penned this “The Constant Wife” nearly a century ago, but the message and inspiration are more relevant today than ever:  strong women aren’t fooled by weak men.  “There is only one freedom that’s important, and it’s economic freedom,” Constance learns. Between the lines, there’s plenty of hearty laughs here, too.

Running Time: 2 Hours with a 10-Minute intermission.




Update: the broadwayworld.com Regional Awards!

UPDATE:  We are pleased to announce that Adriano Gatto was selected as Best Actor in a Play for his performance in ICTC’s “Design for Living” in the broadwayworld.com Regional Awards.  Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!  Click here to see the complete list of winners.

It’s an abundance of riches for ICTC in the Broadwayworld.com Regional Awards!  Congratulations to all ICTC’s nominees:
Best Actor in a Play
Adriano Gatto – “Design for Living”
Matt Witten – “The Winslow Boy”
P.J. Tighe – “Equus” 
Robert Rutland – “The Winslow Boy”
Best Actress in a Play
Kate LoConti – “Design for Living”
Kristen Tripp Kelley – “The Seedbed”
Best Director of a Play
David Oliver – “Equus”
Katie Mallinson – “Design for Living”
Best Play
“The Seedbed””
“The Winslow Boy”

“‘Minding Frankie’ is a feel-good, heartwarming, laugh through the tears holiday treat at ICTC”

Review by Peter Hall, Buffalo Rising
November 15, 2017

THE BASICS: MINDING FRANKIE, a play by Shay Linehan [say LIN-uh-han] adapted from the novel by Maeve Binchy, presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by Chris Kelly, a “two-hander” starring Kristen Tripp Kelley and Christian Brandjes in a variety of roles, runs through November 26, Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 3 & 7:30 and Sundays at 2 at the Andrews Theatre, 625 Main Street (853-ICTC). Full service bar in the “Chris O’Neill lounge”www.irishclassicaltheatre.com Runtime: a touch over two hours with one intermission.

THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  Noel Lynch is a Dublin drunk barely holding on to his job as a clerk in a building materials warehouse when he gets a call to go to the hospital to see Stella, a woman he spent a few days with at an outdoor music festival. Puzzled, he shows up, and it turns out she has cancer, she’s dying, and she’s pregnant, and he’s the father. She has chosen him to take care of (“mind”) the soon-to-be-born daughter “Frankie.” At first, reluctantly, but then fiercely, he agrees. Meanwhile, the embittered spinster social worker, Moira Tierney, wants Frankie to be adopted by responsible friends of hers who will then make Moira Frankie’s godmother.  Complications ensue in this “laugh through the tears” Irish comedy.

THE PLAYERS, THE PLAY, AND THE PRODUCTION: Right from the start this play is a winner. Now, just as it takes a village, or at least a Dublin street, to raise a child, it takes as many to produce a show, so singling anyone out is not to diminish any other element. Having said that, Kristen Tripp Kelley, who always delivers a professional performance, is on a whole other level here. Seamlessly moving from portrayals of the dying Stella to the uptight Moira, and others in-between as needed (including wonderful moments as Noel’s dad, and later as Malachi, Noel’s AA sponsor) Kelley’s acting chops get a workout and she’s up for it. Oh yes; yes she is. Christian Brandjes plays the drunk, Noel, and many other characters, too, so ably that having only two actors was enough for me.

A lot of ICTC’s shows are a bit gritty, the people are mean and do not seek redemption, and the laughs and tears are hard won, often leaving me wondering: “Could we please just have a nice play that tugs at the heartstrings and lets us walk out of the theater feeling good about the world?” Well, I got my wish. That play is called MINDING FRANKIE.


“Minding Frankie” celebrates an ordinary man as quietly heroic … a rich, warm tale.

Review by Willy Rogue Donaldson
Published Monday, November 13, 2017

Here we are in modern Ireland, where we see Noel Lynch is drinking his way to oblivion in yet another pub. He hasn’t been thrown out of this one like he has at many others- Whoops! He was just thrown out again! Into a sizeable puddle!

Later we see him at home when he gets a strange phone call from someone he barely knows. Uh oh, no man is an island, and no man wants to get this phone call.

We watch events unfold over two acts with wonder and chuckles. When my companion Miss Pickwicker wondered why genetics wasn’t brought onto the scene, I pointed out the first act takes place over twenty years ago. The ending comes with a huge smile, followed by much applause.

The two characters are played by two of Buffalo’s best actors in a very smooth production Directed by Chris Kelly. It is a very physical play with continuous action, with few breaks between many short scenes. This means the actors have to establish the difference between scenes very quickly and have no time to catch their breath. Even tho they are seldom running, it is still a strenuous undertaking. And Chris Kelly has made it seem seamless, with everything running smoothly the first weekend.   And withal the scenes are oriented in different directions for theater in the round- a fine direction of movement.

The set consists of blown up children’s blocks, which are moved adroitly between scenes, and the few props are pulled out from within them. A very attractive Set Designed by Paul Bostaph. Some missing elements are suggested by the actors’ movements.

Christian Brandjes tucks another masterful portrayal under his belt with his character Noel Lynch. He takes him from a drunkard to a solid warm character in the play, proving himself again and again on the slippery slope.

Kristen Tripp Kelly takes the stage as Moira Tierney, a woman who has a very responsible position as an adoption agency official. She is very wary of this unusual adoption, and thinks at every junction that she has to jump in before Lynch fails to be up to the job. Her important doubt makes her character seem stiff and rather harsh, we learn later what her personal limitations and outlook are.

In the conflicts between these two characters we sense a possible romance to come, they are getting to know each other very well. Does anything come of this? I’ll not give it away, but towards the end, KT Kelly gets a chance to show Moira more attractively.

Did I mention the third and fourth characters onstage? The fourth was played by slight of hand, an onstage unvoiced character. And the third was an important character, Stella, present in full body and voice. The only problem was there was no third actor. So that means KT Kelly played Stella Dickson in the hospital.   Wait a minute, she also played Moira visiting Stella in the hospital. Wha? Dummy? Mirrors? Twins? Watch that scene carefully!!

The play is enhanced by its usage of Irish [Irish English], with characteristic words and phrases which enrich our experience. And it celebrates an ordinary man as interesting and quietly heroic. Here is a most worthy definition of the American slang phrase “man up”.

Go and enjoy a rich warm tale at The Irish Classical Theatre!

“Vivid storytelling, skillful acting, versatile set design” in “Minding Frankie”

Review by Cherie Messore, buffalotheatreguide.com
November 10, 2017

We should all live in the world Maeve Binchy created. Gentle moments are soft as a whisper. Strong emotions are passions with purpose. Hate is usually couched in fear, and while it’s uncomfortable, it’s not vitriolic. And the good guy always wins.

“Minding Frankie” was one of Binchy’s last novels (published two years before her death) and is the only one adapted for the stage, nicely done by Shay Linehan. Irish Classical Theatre’s production is the North American premiere.

Linehan did a fine job scaling back the abundant characters of the novel to this clean and taut production for two actors in multiple tiny roles.

Director Chris Kelly struck gold with his two actors of choice. Christian Brandjes’ dominant role is Noel, the father and minder of infant Frankie, the poor dear, who is born out of wedlock to a terminally ill woman who professes that Noel is the biological dad.

Kristen Tripp Kelley is Frankie’s mom Stella, but for most of show she is Moira, the social worker who is not convinced that Noel, with his love of the drink, is father material. And so it goes.

Turns out Noel can manage just fine, most of the time, with a little help from his extended family of village folk, who appear to the audience only in one-sided dialogue..

Both Brandjes and Kelly shine in their primary roles and their multiple character appearances, too. Kelley’s shift from the disdainful social worker Moira from dying mama Stella is the farthest stretch of all, and she manages this beautifully. Brandjes’ morph from drunk Noel to waiter is charming and deft. Both actors use their voices and body language well, with carefully placed steps and nuances, aided by randomly small props and pieces. Whoever thought a simple plastic rain bonnet was all you needed to change personalities, or a tilt to your wrist can suggest a serving tray? A truly skilled actor can make you see something new in every suggestion.

Skillful acting, versatile set design, simple costumes,  and minimalist props powerfully suggest people, places, and objects here, supporting a sentimental and sweet story. Designer Paul Bostaph’s set is a series of oversized alphabet blocks that shift into a bed, a changing table, and a bar, besides holding teaser props to fold our imaginations into the space and story. A vintage receiver sans cord is the non-cellular phone. Hands curved around air just so suggest holding the wriggly curves of an infant.  I like that this production makes you work along with the actors to make the story very real in your mind’s eye. It’s this subtly vivid storytelling that draws you in and makes you very glad you are there.

Running time is just over two hours with a 15 minute intermission.

“Minding Frankie” runs until November 26, 2017 and is presented at Irish Classical Theatre. For more information, click here.

Theatre Review: ‘Minding Frankie’ at Irish Classical Theatre


“Engaging story telling … a charmingly sensitive production” – ICTC’s “Minding Frankie”

Review by Michael Rabice, broadwayworld.com
November 11, 2017

Engaging story telling is an ancient art and being able to retell someone else’s story can be a challenge– where to put emphases, inflections and pauses, what to include and what to embellish, and how to bring characters to life. Playwright Shay Linehan has adapted Irish author Maeve Binchy’s novel MINDING FRANKIE with thoughtful creativity and Buffalo’s Irish Classical Theatre Company is presenting a charmingly sensitive production at it’s Andrews Theatre.

Linehan is the Playwright in Residence at ICTC and here his success lies in the creative nature in which he chooses to tell a story that encompasses dozens of characters all being played by a single man and woman. MINDING FRANKIE tells of the consequences of a brief not-so-romantic interlude by a single man named Noel, a working class Irishman who is also a mostly down on his luck alcoholic. His personal life is not much to speak of and things get complicated when he receives a phone call from a social worker Moira asking him to urgently come visit a dying past fling in the hospital. Told that he is the father of a soon to be born baby girl named Frankie, he must decide what to do with the child, as the mother will most certainly die of cancer imminently.

This two act, two person play requires and is given caring and thoughtful direction by Chris Kelly. With a simple setting of life sized children’s alphabet blocks and toys chests (designed by Paul Bostaph), Kelly creatively rearranges the blocks and chests in a myriad of configurations to deal with the numerous short scenes that make up the play. He expertly uses the playing area to suggest multiple locales and guides each actor through changes in voice, posture and costumes to inhabit each character with clarity. His stage direction is fluid and essentially choreographed so as the literally map out walking patterns among the boxes so each character enters the next scene with precision.

Christian Brandjes as Noel shines in embodying his inner and outer turmoil of accepting to raise Frankie, while being totally unequipped for such a task. His attempts to convince Social Worker Moira (played by Kristen Tripp Kelley) that he is up to the challenges are constantly dashed. Moira herself has a stake in raising the child. Her plan includes having her friends be the foster parents and she will become the godmother to Frankie.

Ms. Kelley finds many layers in her nuanced portrayal of the lonely and overworked Moira, herself without any prospects of marriage or having a child. With her red hair and excellent Irish accent, Kelley is perfectly cast and subtly shows the desperation in trying to do the right thing for the child while trying to fill a void in her own personal life. Whether she takes on the role of the dying mother, burly bar tender or aging neighbor, her acting choices are clear and well thought. Brandjes and Kelley are at their best in confrontation scenes, and there are many, as Moira trails Noel wherever he goes and frequently drops in at his apartment in attempts to find him unfit. Mr. Brandjes is delightful in his scenes with the newborn Frankie, pantomiming with conviction and often hilarity. His exasperation and humor offer a nice balance to the uptight nature of Ms. Kelley’s role. After Frankie is in his care he is challenged with the notion that he may not be her father and paternity testing comes in to play, further questioning Frankie’s placement.

MINDING FRANKIE at first does not cry out for a stage production. The story is straight forward and the twist and turns are few, often playing out more like an episodic television script. Luckily the artistic merits of all involved in this production elevate the material to a much higher ground and by the play’s conclusion that effective art of great story telling draws the audience in. The ending is as satisfyingly placid as reading the last paragraph of a newly found short story.

MINDING FRANKIE runs through November 26, 2017 at the Irish Classical Theatre Company’s Andrews Theatre. Contact irishclassical.com for more information