2nd Story’s ‘Mass Appeal’ is most appealing
The show flies by...leaving you begging for more.by Don Fowler, Warwick Beacon
Fans of Bob Colonna will be delighted with the veteran actor’s return to the stage in a role could have been written just for him.
Bill C. Davis’ “Mass Appeal” has been around for some time now (We remember Richard Kneeland and Tim Daly doing it at Trinity), and while references to sexual preferences and abuse are not as shocking as they were back in the ’60s, the play is still relevant. While the story is about two priests who approach their calling from two widely different perspectives, it could be about rabbis, or even teachers or businessmen.
Mark (David Sackal) is a young self-righteous seminarian who lands himself in big trouble with the monsignor for his brutal honesty and tough sermons. He is assigned to Father Tim (Colonna), a veteran priest who has learned to say and do the right things to make his parishioners feel comfortable and love him.
Both men bring a lot of baggage to the table, as Father Tim tries to save Mark from himself by teaching him how to survive, even if it means telling lies and toning down his approach. The result is that Mark ends up teaching Father Tim more than the good Father teaches him.
Davis’ dialogue is crisply written and perfectly delivered by the two actors. Sackal has that fire and passion, challenging Father Tim at every turn.
Colonna, admitting to a talk-back audience that he occasionally “bumbles” over his lines, gets away with it because that is just the way you would expect Father Tim, drink always in his hand, to act.
Colonna grew up with his famous father, comedian Jerry Colonna, and his close friend and cohort, Bob Hope, so he knows a thing or two about comic timing. He not only knows about it, he has perfected it, playing off Sackal and the audience perfectly.
The show flies by in an hour and 45 minutes with a brief intermission, leaving you begging for more. If there is a talk-back the day you attend, stick around for a closer look at Colonna and the play.