Long `Faith Healer’ tests patience, but worth the effort

Sunday, June 24, 2007
Birmingham News staff writer

Brian Friel loves words.

The Irish playwright has used them to great effect in his Tony-winning “Dancing at Lughnasa,” his adaptation of Chekov’s “Uncle Vanya” and many other plays throughout his illustrious career.
His are rarely works of great action. More often, his characters tell us of momentous events rather than showing them to us.

Such is the case with “Faith Healer,” his 1979 work that has already seen a couple of acclaimed revivals on Broadway. It’s a series of four monologues, told from the perspectives of three people – itinerant faith healer Frank Hardy; his wife, Grace; and his agent and friend, Teddy – all of whom were involved in a horrible event one night in County Donegal in northwest Ireland.
It’s a tour de force for the actors involved, and City Equity Theatre’s production gives us three performers who are more than up for the task. Jonathan Fuller opens and closes the show as Frank Hardy, with Francie Gardner as Grace and Alan Litsey as Teddy, who provides some much-needed comic relief.

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Glenny Brock’s Faith Healer feature, Birmingham Weekly

Latest City Equity show puts spotlight on storytellers
by Glenny Brock

The second play in the short season of plays being produced this summer by the burgeoning City Equity Theatre company is not a play so much as it’s a story quartet, presented in all the trappings of a play. There are actors, costumes, a set and a stage, but the engine of the show is storytelling, racing toward the collective imagination of the audience, listening.  Continue reading