Friday, April 26, 2019

FAITH HEALER: A PLAY BY BRIAN FRIEL




Here's how this week's arts and culture piece begins:

Kathryn Kuhlman (1907-1976), a Methodist faith healer and born-again Christian, had a weekly program in the 1960s and ’70s that I sorely regret having missed.

How can you not love an evangelist who was married (briefly) to a man named Burroughs A. Waltrip of Dallas, and who was sued by her personal administrator for purportedly stashing away a million bucks in jewelry and another million in fine art?

Plus I actually agree with everything she says: “I, too, beLIEVE in miracles! I, too believe that Jesus Chrrrist is the very Son of the living God. I, too, believe that love is something you … DO!”

Which brings me to “Faith Healer,” by Irish playwright Brian Friel, at the Odyssey Theater Ensemble in West LA through May 12.

Director Ron Sossi (also the Odyssey’s artistic director) describes the play as “at once a Rashomon type mystery, a delving into talent versus sham and, ultimately, a uniquely metaphysical view of life” — well, sign me up!

Brian Friel (1929-2015), perhaps best known for “Dancing at Lughnasa,” wrote prodigiously and is considered one of Ireland’s most prominent contemporary playwrights. “Faith Healer” premiered in 1979 and comprises four monologues.


READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

PAUL NORWOOD AS FANTASTIC FRANK HARDY
IN "FAITH HEALER" AT THE ODYSSEY

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