Faith Healer

Critics

LemonMeter

88 %

Reviews: 13

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Brian Friel's mysterious, humorous and unforgettable work about the life and times of an itinerant Irish healer. Is Fantastic Francis Hardy a miracle worker — or a showman in search of a dollar?.At once a Rashomon type mystery, a delving into talent versus sham and, ultimately, a uniquely metaphysical view of life .March 23 – May 12: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with 3 additional weeknight performances on Wed., April 10; Thurs, April 18; and Wed., May 10, all at 8 p.m. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025; For reservations and information, call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com.

Reviews

Avatar
"Faith Healer's rich language and syntax draws on the sense of ritual and prayer, rooted in the Irish oral tradition of storytelling, poetic and conversational in equal measure. As such, it requires the strongest of performers who can hold your attention, as they stand on the stage alone, weaving their entertaining tales to hide their denial and delusion. Paul Norwood, Diana Cignoni and Ron Bottitta are such a cast, well-balanced and engaging."

sweet - Catherine Siggins - Faith Healer - ...read full review


Avatar
"Faith Healer is a chamber piece, its anxieties kept in check by Sossi's firm hand. It also suffers to a degree from the length and deep dive of each discourse, plus the gloom in which all is performed. But such convolutions are in the Irish DNA. If you're a Friel fan, as I happen to be, try it. It will offer the rewards only such a recalcitrant master as Friel can deliver."

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott
"In The Faith Healer Brian Friel creates a masterful tone-paen to a passing, flavorful way of life. Like Rashomon, his prismatic look at Irish life reflects a by-gone era. Three characters, the faith healer, Francis Hardy (Paul Norword), his wife, Grace (Diana Cignoni), and the manager, Teddy (Ron Bottitta) relate their perspectives on the faith healer's catastrophic death. Under Ron Sossi's direction, Faith Healer, presents itself as a series of confidences between the audience and each character. Dim lighting on the majority of the set offsets a spot trained on each, successive, and singular character. Such an approach necessitates a larger than life character to fill the space; however, on opening night, only Bottitta as Teddy, manages that feat."

sweet-sour - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"FAITH HEALER will still leave you questioning the power of faith in the face of manipulative showmanship just to make a buck. Just how can we believe in his self-proclaimed talent if he loses faith in himself? And thanks to the brilliant skill of its three talented actors, this "monologue play" will leave it up to you to decide if Frank is really a shaman or charlatan, or perhaps a bit of both. My advice is to have a strong cup of coffee to be sure you stay awake and not miss any details in this Rashomon type tale."

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Dan Berkowitz
"The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, which is a remarkable milestone for a theatre. It's even more remarkable in Los Angeles, where theatre companies spring up like weeds and often die just as quickly. Most remarkable, though, is that the Odyssey has been run for its entire existence by Artistic Director Ron Sossi, who founded it in 1969. And he's not just a figurehead, as proved by his fine direction of Brian Friel's "Faith Healer.""

sweet - Dan Berkowitz - The Los Angeles Post - ...read full review


Avatar
"...I dare say you would be hard pressed to find a more exciting use of this genre than what transpires on that stage as the nuanced performances given by these three mega-talented actors are nothing short of masterful."

sweet - Beverly Cohn - Santa Monica Mirror - ...read full review


Avatar
"These three people had a kind of faith and love for each other that kept them going for over a decade but Teddy is the only one left in the end.  How the heart breaks for Teddy – and in the end, that feels like more than enough reason to want to experience this story.  It's a beautiful one after all even though faith might ultimately be the thing that needs healing here – if it isn't the thing that damaged these people the most in the end."

sweet - Christine Deitner - The Theatre Times - ...read full review


Avatar
"These long, densely-written speeches seem better suited to the written page than to the stage but manage to be engrossing, thanks to the stellar work of the actors."

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar
"As the monologues proceed we learn more about Frank, his demise, and his contradictions from these people, whose memories are not always reliable…let alone Frank's. Listen closely for the discrepancies, and your sympathies will take some whiplash turns. You will also be lulled by the poetic incantatory nature of the text."

sweet-sour - Sarah Spitz - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"Faith Healer is a masterpiece of theatrical trompe l'oeil, a landmark in the rich Irish canon, but without really accomplished actors it would be an intolerable bore. Fortunately, we have a cast that can hold their own against the formidable odds that Friel has placed before them. The playwright almost dares the actors (and the director) to make this work."

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Avatar
"Director Ron Sossi does sensitive, imaginative work here, but Faith Healer asks a lot of the audience. It employs the kind of Irish storytelling that thrives on repetition and the poetic rhythm of language. Without enough emotional energy, it can sink into itself. The show's long monologues offer no direct interplay between characters, and the flow of so many words can have a hypnotizing effect. Regrettably, on the night I went, several people in the audience fell asleep. Others stood and cheered at the end."

sweet-sour - Samuel Garza Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar
"Yet the production's ultimate salvation is Ron Bottitta's Teddy. With a perfect Cockney dialect, he sashays and quips and tells jokes (the stupidity of one of his clients — an artistic genius three-year-old whippet named Rob Boy, who mesmerized crowds by playing “Come into the Garden, Maude” on the bagpipes) with an easy charisma. He's like an uncle from London's east end. - RECOMMENDED"

sweet - Steven Leigh Morris - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar
"Brilliantly directed by Ron SossiFaith Healer is a powerful, absorbing drama of the highest caliber served up by an ideal cast."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Avatar
"Faith Healer's rich language and syntax draws on the sense of ritual and prayer, rooted in the Irish oral tradition of storytelling, poetic and conversational in equal measure. As such, it requires the strongest of performers who can hold your attention, as they stand on the stage alone, weaving their entertaining tales to hide their denial and delusion. Paul Norwood, Diana Cignoni and Ron Bottitta are such a cast, well-balanced and engaging."

sweet - Catherine Siggins - Faith Healer - ...read full review


Avatar
"Faith Healer is a chamber piece, its anxieties kept in check by Sossi's firm hand. It also suffers to a degree from the length and deep dive of each discourse, plus the gloom in which all is performed. But such convolutions are in the Irish DNA. If you're a Friel fan, as I happen to be, try it. It will offer the rewards only such a recalcitrant master as Friel can deliver."

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott
"In The Faith Healer Brian Friel creates a masterful tone-paen to a passing, flavorful way of life. Like Rashomon, his prismatic look at Irish life reflects a by-gone era. Three characters, the faith healer, Francis Hardy (Paul Norword), his wife, Grace (Diana Cignoni), and the manager, Teddy (Ron Bottitta) relate their perspectives on the faith healer's catastrophic death. Under Ron Sossi's direction, Faith Healer, presents itself as a series of confidences between the audience and each character. Dim lighting on the majority of the set offsets a spot trained on each, successive, and singular character. Such an approach necessitates a larger than life character to fill the space; however, on opening night, only Bottitta as Teddy, manages that feat."

sweet-sour - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"FAITH HEALER will still leave you questioning the power of faith in the face of manipulative showmanship just to make a buck. Just how can we believe in his self-proclaimed talent if he loses faith in himself? And thanks to the brilliant skill of its three talented actors, this "monologue play" will leave it up to you to decide if Frank is really a shaman or charlatan, or perhaps a bit of both. My advice is to have a strong cup of coffee to be sure you stay awake and not miss any details in this Rashomon type tale."

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Dan Berkowitz
"The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, which is a remarkable milestone for a theatre. It's even more remarkable in Los Angeles, where theatre companies spring up like weeds and often die just as quickly. Most remarkable, though, is that the Odyssey has been run for its entire existence by Artistic Director Ron Sossi, who founded it in 1969. And he's not just a figurehead, as proved by his fine direction of Brian Friel's "Faith Healer.""

sweet - Dan Berkowitz - The Los Angeles Post - ...read full review


Avatar
"...I dare say you would be hard pressed to find a more exciting use of this genre than what transpires on that stage as the nuanced performances given by these three mega-talented actors are nothing short of masterful."

sweet - Beverly Cohn - Santa Monica Mirror - ...read full review


Avatar
"These three people had a kind of faith and love for each other that kept them going for over a decade but Teddy is the only one left in the end.  How the heart breaks for Teddy – and in the end, that feels like more than enough reason to want to experience this story.  It's a beautiful one after all even though faith might ultimately be the thing that needs healing here – if it isn't the thing that damaged these people the most in the end."

sweet - Christine Deitner - The Theatre Times - ...read full review


Avatar
"These long, densely-written speeches seem better suited to the written page than to the stage but manage to be engrossing, thanks to the stellar work of the actors."

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar
"As the monologues proceed we learn more about Frank, his demise, and his contradictions from these people, whose memories are not always reliable…let alone Frank's. Listen closely for the discrepancies, and your sympathies will take some whiplash turns. You will also be lulled by the poetic incantatory nature of the text."

sweet-sour - Sarah Spitz - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"Faith Healer is a masterpiece of theatrical trompe l'oeil, a landmark in the rich Irish canon, but without really accomplished actors it would be an intolerable bore. Fortunately, we have a cast that can hold their own against the formidable odds that Friel has placed before them. The playwright almost dares the actors (and the director) to make this work."

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Avatar
"Director Ron Sossi does sensitive, imaginative work here, but Faith Healer asks a lot of the audience. It employs the kind of Irish storytelling that thrives on repetition and the poetic rhythm of language. Without enough emotional energy, it can sink into itself. The show's long monologues offer no direct interplay between characters, and the flow of so many words can have a hypnotizing effect. Regrettably, on the night I went, several people in the audience fell asleep. Others stood and cheered at the end."

sweet-sour - Samuel Garza Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar
"Yet the production's ultimate salvation is Ron Bottitta's Teddy. With a perfect Cockney dialect, he sashays and quips and tells jokes (the stupidity of one of his clients — an artistic genius three-year-old whippet named Rob Boy, who mesmerized crowds by playing “Come into the Garden, Maude” on the bagpipes) with an easy charisma. He's like an uncle from London's east end. - RECOMMENDED"

sweet - Steven Leigh Morris - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar
"Brilliantly directed by Ron SossiFaith Healer is a powerful, absorbing drama of the highest caliber served up by an ideal cast."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review