Good Goods – Christina Anderson

Good Goods is an allegory. A family business is both the setting for and nexus of several domestic conflicts which boil over in a 24 hour period. The play is packed with tropes and archetypes –mysterious, friendly outsider as catalyst; you can’t go home again; evil corporation; transformation; unconfessed homoeros; deliberate misunderstanding/misexecution of another character’s desire. These jostle against each other and create an internally consistent olio, but there are times when it jumps the shark for me.

Ms. Anderson writes in the notes that the time is “Between 1961 and 1994. There is a keen sense of hindsight in the characters that places this play on a sliding scale in relation to time.” She goes on to describe the place as, “The side pocket of America. It’s a small, unknown city/county/town/village that doesn’t appear on any map.” It is this Brigadoon-ish location which excuses some of the magical action of the play.

This play was another to reveal my producer-y tendencies. I would gladly support a passionate person who had the vision and follow-through to bring this skillfully to life, but I would not direct it myself. Further, just now in this writing, Good Goods, has made me realize how much of what I like in theatre has to do with scale and realism. More on that later.

Cast: 6 4M 2F. Two of the characters “double.” Runtime: 107 pp. Let’s call it 120 minutes. Plan that intermission. Themes: Historical and current double crosses, worse for being black on black double crosses.

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