How do you solve a problem like Margie, the tough South Boston single mother at the center of David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Good People”?
The play, which was nominated for a Tony last season, is receiving its West Coast premiere in a sharp Geffen Playhouse production that gives Los Angeles audiences a crack at figuring out where exactly things went wrong for a woman who doesn't always make it easy for us to feel sorry for her. It's an intriguingly difficult case, one that bravely touches (with as much humor as seriousness) the one subject left in America that's still largely off-limits — social class.
This once-pretty, middle-aged train wreck, played with tender conviction by Jane Kaczmarek sporting a thick Red Sox fan accent, has just lost her job at the Dollar Store and is fretting about how she’s going to pay the rent for the apartment she shares with her developmentally disabled daughter. It doesn’t help her prospects that she peppers her conversation with the words “pardon my French” or that she seems perpetually spoiling for a fight, but not even her landlady (Marylouise Burke, one of Lindsay-Abaire’s acting muses) is prepared to give her a break, and they’re always hanging out together.