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Holy Ghosts is playing at the Urban Stages located at 259 West 30th Street. It runs two hours with one intermission. It closes on October 6, 2018.
It has been 40 years since Holy Ghost has been performed on the stage in New York. Romulus Linney is the playwright.
The play is set in the preset, rural Tennessee.
We are in a room that has plenty of chairs. There is an organ the right and to the front left a table that has a hot pot on it.
Coleman Shedman (Oliver Palmer) is screaming at his wife Nancy (Lizzy Sarrett). She has left him after a year of marriage taking his truck and half of the furnishings. He wants them back.
He has hired an attorney Roger Canfield (Tom Green) to help him get a divorce. Coleman claims she is having an affair with someone, which she denies. Nancy tells Roger that Coleman beats her and drinks a lot.
Roger tries to calm things down between the two so he can decide if there are grounds for a divorce.
Obediah Buckhorn Jr walks into the room. Nancy grabs his arm and her hugs her. He is African American. That sets Coleman off that he is the guy she has left him for. Obediah says no its my father.
We are in the Pentecostal meeting place. Obedian father is the white preacher for the Pentecostal and the one Nancy is in love with and will marry. She met Jr when he was camping near her house. He needed matches and didn’t have them. Seeing the light on in the house he knocked on the door. Nancy opened it naked. She tells him her problems and he invites her to come to their meeting place.
Virgel Tides (Alston Slaltton) brings two boxes while they are there.
As the play goes on members come in the room, they sing hymns. We learn more about the parishioners and what made them join the Pentecostal.
One thing we learn is Obediah Buckhhorn Sr (James Anthony McBride) was married six times and has seventeen children. Nancy didn’t know.
The boxes Virgel brought in have snakes in them. Some of the members handle the snakes, they have venom.
There is no character build up, so many characters. I had no feelings for anyone.
Some other issues I had were the preacher has been married six times. What kind of man is he and why would I want to follow him? Four of the members handled the snake and no one got bit. The preacher marries an African American in rural Tennessee??
Coleman face looks red (the rest of his body is white) was this to say he was a redneck?
The actors do a great job, all fifteen of them.
There was possibility of a good play but not today.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich