It takes a village - Lilies of the Field
When one man comes upon a small convent of German nuns in the American Southwest, he is presented with an impossible task: build a church. Knowing nothing about the materials of the region, speaking not a word of German or Spanish, and having nothing but his own two hand to begin with, Homer Smith struggles to choose between the simple, or the simply impossible.
The Lilies of the Field runs at the Village Playhouse through December 27th. Director Deanna Strasse leads the company through some of the Playhouse's strongest work yet.
Strasse's scenic design is simple, yet effective - a massive chalkboard is used to visualize the growing church, a small table serves as the nun's humble home, and some side seating represents a diner in town. With the space limits of the venue, this structure allows for the acting to really tell the story.
Mary Lynn Ferwerda and Randall J. Tranowski.
Randall J. Tranowski brings bold energy to his Homer. He is a spitfire, passionate and loud, and always ready for an argument. All the while, Tranowski doesn't lose sight of the kindness in his heart and goodness of his intentions. The performance is nuanced and alive.
Playing opposite Tranowski is Mary Lynn Ferwerda as Mother Maria Marthe. Ferwerda is composed and patient, and still entirely stubborn. Homer runs himself against her wall of strength, and when his force meets her immovability, someone has to change.
Father Gomez, the small town pastor who hosts the nuns at his Sunday masses - is played by Joe Gallo. He acts as the narrator for the show, delivering long passages to cover the hours and days that pass between scenes. Gallo joined the production late in the process, but to audiences, this is hardly visible; he carries himself with reverence and delivers with clarity. His performance feels a perfect fit amidst the rest of the company.
The Lilies of the Field is a heartwarming classic about people coming together to make the impossible, possible. The show, while not holiday in theme, captures the spirit of selflessness and giving at this time of year.