Our Lady of 121st Street starts by examining what happens when two institutional forces capable of greatly shaping their participants' lives – religion and education – collide in the a neighborhood as diverse as Harlem and then advances twenty years or so. Will the people retain the lessons they've learned, or will they fall by the wayside? Stephen Adly Guirgis's play – is an intriguing attempt to answer that question. All of its characters, even the lady of the title (Sister Rose Marie, the alcoholic religious disciplinarian who is dead before the play starts) are flawed people, struggling against the tide of their lives, sometimes succeeding – and yes, sometimes failing – in doing the right thing. Most of the characters have arrived at the Ortiz Funeral Home to pay their last respects to Sister Rose, only to discover that her body has been stolen, and their actions are frequently in response to the difficult situation. Emotions are running high, tensions at the breaking point, and people are trying to deal with their feelings for Sister Rose – as well as each other – as best they can. The idea is rich with dramatic possibilities, a number of which Guirgis realizes in the heavily character-driven script. Providing the New Image College of Fine Arts Actors with tremendous opportunity to test their skill in their chosen profession. The effects of alcoholism, obligation, abuse, and forgiveness are all tackled with ease, and all seem germane to the proceedings. The religious background of the story also informs the action. This was a beautifully realized production at the Beaumont Theatre with New Image College of Fine Arts second year students of acting. They were all amazing.
- Jay Brazeau
- John Craig, Charie Van Dyke
- Ady Mejia, Chris Lomas, Christine Wallace, Des Larson, Dustin Elkins, Emmanuel Uwo, Erendira Farga, Gustavo Serna, Leo Wong, Meghan Roche, Nathan Durec, Thabi Maphoso