In Vestments OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Anthony Collins
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    May 7, 2015
    Closing:
    May 30, 2015

    Theater: West Park Presbyterian Church / 165 West 86th Street, New York, New York 10024

    Synopsis: 

    Four priests and sacristan are living and working in a church that is falling apart around them. Haunted by the ghosts and demons of their pasts, they fight each other and their own destructive natures as they struggle to rebuild the church. After a chalice of sanctified communion wine is poisoned by a piece of asbestos falling from the ceiling, the ensuing argument over what do with the now poisoned holy wine sets off a chain reaction of destructive events, tearing at the fragile balance holding the church together and revealing the terrible secrets holding each of the priests and the sacristan to the church.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF In Vestments

    In Sara Fellini’s ‘In Vestments,’ Haunted by More Than Ghosts

    Laura Collins-Hughes

    May 19, 2015: The teenager crouches on the rectory’s kitchen floor, idly inking his forearm with a ballpoint pen. His face is bruised, his complexion pale green, his hair dusted with white. He’s a ghost, and a persistent one, trailing his older brother, Nathan, through life. That’s hardly the only haunting going on in Sara Fellini’s unwieldy new play, “In Vestments,” in which Isaac Byrne’s high-energy production is by turns earnest and campy, wrenching and visually eloquent. Set in a Roman Catholic parish called Our Lady of Perpetual Sighs, it’s performed in the intimate chapel of West Park Presbyterian Church on the Upper West Side, where the audience sits in pews lining the walls. As the play begins, the priests face a quandary: What to do with sacramental wine that was tainted by plaster falling from the ceiling at the moment of transubstantiation, just as the wine became the blood of Christ? The metaphor — poison in the very structure of the church — is worryingly on the nose, and the money-grubbing ways of Father Falke (Ted Wold), the ranking priest, similarly lack subtlety. But the play mostly gets better from there, even if it refuses to settle into a tone.

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