Friday, March 9, 2007


Scanned image of the promotion card for the play

A powerful seven-character play called THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT brilliantly written and directed by the talented TERRENCE WALSH opened March 8th at Theatre Row’s Studio Theatre. I saw the play last night and was moved by the story and amazed by the forceful performances of the cast. Set in Chicago in 1980, the play examines family conflict that takes its roots from an alcoholic and abusive father. Marie, exceptionally played by Terri Eoff, is a 47-year-old, first-generation Irish-American who has just lost her mother whom she lived with her entire life. The conflict arises when Marie's brother Seamus (suitably portrayed by Kim Shipley) attempts to sell the condo that Marie and their mother have lived in for 25 years. In the end, Marie, who left the altar to take care of her ailing mother, learned to finally shed her martyr-like passiveness, stand up for herself, find joy in a new relationship, and refuse to let anyone “steal her life.” There were many funny moments provided by Marie’s hairdresser friend Eileen (Barabara Suter). As Seamus’ wife Carol, Susan Wands was very convincing and Jimmy Aquino's performance as Marie's possible new love interest Carlos was appealing. I liked the clever flashback scenes where the fine actor Ryan Garbayo who plays Marie’s nephew doubles as Kevin, Marie’s former boyfriend. Fr. Bob, Marie’s uncle, was played by Larry Swansen. The set design was simple and intimate and the lighting was very effective. Performances run through March 18th at the Studio Theatre at 42nd street between 9th and 10th Avenues.

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