Framingham Drama Features Lexington's Cliff Blake
Framingham Drama Features Lexington’s Cliff Blake
Looking for insight, laughter, and tears? You can find them, along with affordable tickets and free parking, at Framingham’s Amazing Things Arts Center, presenting the lyrical and thought-provoking Molly Sweeney.
- What: Molly Sweeney, a drama by Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa, Translations, and Faith Healer)
- When: October 5, 6, 12, & 13 at 8pm; October 7 & 14 at 2pm
- Special feature - “talk-back”: those who attend the Sunday, October 7 show may discuss the play with the actors and director after the show
- Where: Amazing Things Arts Center, 160 Hollis St., Framingham
- Who: Directed by Sandy Clifford of Waltham; featuring Lis Adams of Arlington as Molly; Cliff Blake of Lexington as her husband Frank; and Paul R. Dixon of Brighton as the surgeon, Mr. Rice
- Tickets and info: www.amazingthings.org or 508-405-2787
- $18 (Student/Senior $17, Member $15, Child under 12 $9)
“What has she to lose?” asks Molly’s surgeon.
Molly is a happy, intelligent, capable woman who happens to be blind. Molly's husband, deciding that she'd be even happier if her eyesight were restored, finds a once-famous surgeon – his reputation tarnished by alcohol – who agrees to try to restore Molly's sight. The husband and surgeon in turn persuade the unenthusiastic Molly.
In an age of medical miracles, Molly Sweeney causes us to reflect on the principle of “First, do no harm” and to consider the meaning of vision itself.
Cliff Blake has long wanted to perform in an Irish play because of the matchless beauty of the language and “the masterful balance between laughter and sorrow.” He too thinks that Molly Sweeney is about storytelling: “It unfolds through the eyes and souls of three everyday people who are nonetheless intriguingly complex and deep. The listener visualizes and reflects: What is blindness? What is sight? What are your blind spots? The play taps into your power to imagine, to think, and to feel. Come to the play. You'll see.”
Cliff’s favorite roles – like this one – have an everyman quality: George in Same Time Next Year and Michael in God of Carnage (both at Amazing Things), Joe in Working, Bruce in Beyond Therapy, Greg in Sylvia, Lenny in Rumours, Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird, George in Of Mice and Men, and John in Oleanna. Maybe that's why his favorite actor is Jack Lemmon — every man's everyman. Cliff, who is pursuing acting full time after a career in advertising, is also a playwright and songwriter. He recently swam across Boston Harbor in the Sharkfest swim.
Lis Adams thinks that audiences will enjoy Molly Sweeney for its stories. They will hear from three people whose lives are interwoven and follow them through a year of tremendous change. As Lis put it, “You can't help but be drawn into their worlds, and to see the resilience of the human spirit in this beautifully written, poignant play. Each character has his or her own particular language.” She finds Molly to be a challenging role, but adds, “I find her endlessly fascinating: although blind, she is more insightful than the people around her.”
Lis, who is Director of Education at Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House, has worked with many area theater groups. Favorite roles include Eleanore of Aquitaine in Lion in Winter (Concord Players); Grace in Bus Stop (Vokes and Amazing Things); Princess in Sweet Bird of Youth (Delvena Theater at Boston Center for the Arts); and Blanche in Brighton Beach Memoirs and Sissy in A Piece of My Heart (Arlington Friends of the Drama).
Paul Dixon is thrilled to be part of Molly Sweeney and predicts that the play will leave audiences thoughtful: “It's a poetic play that tells a compelling story.” He especially appreciates the multifaceted characters and the play’s richness – “with simplicity, it evokes an amazingly colorful world.”
Paul, a senior technical writer at ikaSystems in Southborough, has been involved in theatre since the age of 13, working as a playwright, director, actor, and even drama critic. His most memorable role is his least favorite: “I played a soldier who died on stage. Every night, as my fellow troops dragged me off, I swear they banged me into every wall imaginable. I couldn't do a thing to prevent them because, well, I was dead.”
Don't just take our word for it....
- “Brian Friel has been recognized as Ireland's greatest living playwright… Molly Sweeney … confirms that Mr. Friel still writes like a dream.” —New York Times
- “Dispassionate eloquence and psychological honesty… Friel's writing has such vitality and warmth, such kindly accuracy of observation.” —London Sunday Times