Last time she was on Broadway, Oscar winner Frances McDormand was in a muddled production of The Country Girl that should have never come to the city.
But she’s having fun again. In David Lindsay-Abaire‘s Good People, Frances anchors the evening as a working-class woman who’s had some bad breaks and wants to strike back.
With recurring scenes at a church bingo hall, the play is clearly saying that life is a big bingo game, and not only do some folks who seem to have made bad choices actually suffer from terrible luck, but perfectly good people can turn shady when driven by those same lousy quirks of fate.
There’s a hint of August: Osage County in some of the colorfully insulting characters, plus a touch of David Mamet in the conniving female plot device, not to mention a dash of Roseanne considering the fact that Estelle Parsons is around as a salty landlady who makes toy rabbits with googly eyes.
But Lindsay-Abaire is his own man, and while Act One is too talky and slowish, Act Two is stronger, with Frances delivering the goods in a hot performance.
By the way, she plays Margie Walsh, which is only one vowel away from Marge Gunderson.