Friday, April 17, 2015


“I doubt there’s a better play about the consequences of the economic divide.”                                                            
                         Tom Key-Theatrical Outfit

By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA-Storefront Church  by Pulitzer Prize, Oscar and Tony-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley concludes his "Church and State" trilogy of plays that began with Doubt and   Defiance.  Storefront Church  is a hilarious morality tale that explores the often-thorny relationship between spiritual experience and social action. On a rainy spring afternoon, the story awakened a dormant sense of what is right and wrong when greed faces desperation.

Directed by David De Vries with an all-star cast featuring Donna Briscoe, Tom Key, Joe Knezevich, Clayton Landey, E. Roger Mitchell and Anthony Rodriguez,  Storefront Church transports us to a wintry Bronx, where greedy capitalists devour giant gingerbread houses, a disenchanted, nomadic preacher rediscovers his faith and inspires it in others, and a curmudgeonly loan officer experiences a glorious rebirth.

As in all his best works, Shanley dissects authority figures and tests their mettle with moral issues, often comically. "I think,” he elaborated, ”with the third play, it all comes to a landing place. I feel a sense of resolution. What Storefront Church says is very applicable to the time we're living in. There is a dearth of places for people who have a spiritual hunger to satisfy, and there's a dearth of places for people who have the hunger for community to satisfy.”

Theatrical Outfit, Atlanta ’s second-oldest continually-operating professional theater company was founded and has been led by Artistic Director Tom Key. A visionary, Key led the company through the creation of its award-winning downtown home, the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, the first U.S. theater to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The theater is on the historical site of Herren’s, the first Atlanta restaurant to voluntarily desegregate..

Tom Key, one of the top actors and directors today, whose masterpiece, Cotton Patch Gospel entertains audiences throughout the planet, sparkles as the top banker in Storefront Church. Located next door to Georgia State University’s magnificent Rialto Center for the Performing Arts and a block away from popular music venue The Tabernacle, the neighborhood is a cornerstone of Atlanta’s downtown revitalization.

Theatrical Outfit tells consistently high-quality, soul-stirring stories, often from great classics and contemporary literature that feature many of the best writers of the American South: Carlyle Brown, Truman Capote, Evan Davis, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Sherry Shepard-Massat, Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, Hank Williams and Tennessee Williams.

For some personal revitalization, get your tickets now at 678.528.1500. Runs through May 3.

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