Attic Salt Theatre Company Presents Modern Classic Mass Appeal
Mass Appeal, by Bill C. Davis
Produced by Attic Salt Theatre Company at 35below
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:30pm
35below, 35 East Walnut St., Asheville, NC
Attic Salt Theatre Company is proud to once again team up with 35below for Bill C. Davis’ thought-provoking comedy, Mass Appeal. Attic Salt has previously produced the acclaimed How I Learned to Drive, God of Carnage and Gruesome Playground Injuries at Asheville Community Theatre’s intimate black-box space, among several other offerings over the last five years. 35below is located at 35 East Walnut Street in Downtown Asheville. The performances will be held Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays
at 2:30pm, from July 14th through the 30th. Tickets cost 20 dollars and can be purchased through the Asheville Community Theatre box office atashevilletheatre.org or by calling 828-254-1320.
Following an award-winning stint off-Broadway, Mass Appeal moved to Broadway in 1981, starring Milo O’Shea, who originated the role of Father Tim Farley, and Michael O’Keefe as Deacon Mark Dolson. There it was nominated for several Tonys, including Best Actor for O’Shea and Best Director for Geraldine Fitzgerald. It has since gone on to become one of the most widely-produced plays, performed by regional theaters across America. In 1984, Davis scripted the film version, which starred Jack Lemmon and Željko Ivanek.
The play introduces young Mark Dolson on his quest to become a man of the cloth. Sent to hear a sermon of populist priest Father Tim Farley, Mark quickly realizes that he is much more interested in shaking the parishioners out of complacency than being popular. His passion for the church gets him into hot water with the powers that be and Father Farley faces a choice as to whether he should “cash in his popularity stock” to follow his heart, or stay in the comfortable position he’s built for himself. The clash between the overly-pious Mark and the witty Father Farley provide many laughs along the way.
Director Jeff Catanese said of the play, “It’s rare that a play written some thirty-five years ago can still touch on issues that are relevant today, and not just within the Catholic Church, but in everyday life. To have one that’s as funny and sharply-written as this one is truly a blessing. I think it’s high time we discovered this play again.”
Asheville theater stalwart David Mycoff stars as Father Farley and he will surprise many with his off-the-cuff humor, for those who only know him from his stints in Classical works. Attic Salt vertebral Patrick Brandt plays his foil, Mark Dolson, and again graces the company with his great talent and subtlety of character. Of his cast, Catanese said, “I’ve worked with both of these actors before, in very different settings. Watching them embrace these roles has been a joy.”
Attic Salt’s Executive Director, Marci Bernstein, will serve as producer on this show, with costumes designed by local fashion designer McKinney Gough. The play will be directed by Jeff Catanese, Attic Salt’s Artistic Director, and stage managed by Nina Troy.
Tickets for Mass Appeal are available now through the Asheville Community Theatre box office at Ashevilletheatre.org or by calling 828-254-1320.