The Fatal Weakness Theatre Review

Posted on: September 16th, 2014 by admin No Comments

The Mint Theater Company has gained a stellar reputation for researching, finding, and presenting plays that greatly entertained audiences back in the day but now are shrouded in obscurity – that is, until the Mint gets to them. Heading in to see the company’s current production, George Kelly’s The Fatal Weakness (1946), I commented to a colleague that it’s remarkable how often the plays thus excavated and mounted prove to be wonderfully stage worthy in our own time, considering that they’re superficially so “dated” in terms of milieu, language, character types, and so on. A stellar example: John Van Druten’s London Wall, such a triumph for the Mint last season that it was chosen as one of several recent Off-Broadway productions to be telecast by WNET-13 as part of its new “Theater Close-Up” Series. (London Wall is set to air on Thursday, October 2 at 9pm, with a repeat telecast on Sunday the 5th at 10:30. Be sure to watch it or DVR it or whatever.) Still, it only stands to reason that some of the plays revived by the company turn out to be less good than others. In reviewing the Mint’s 2013 production of Kelly’s Philip Goes Forth, I commented that the play reminded me of some of the rarely revived early operas of Giuseppe Verdi in that it contains a large amount of uninspired writing occasionally sparked by some truly creative passages that make us understand why Kelly was an audience favorite for many years.