Continuing one of the most active (yet dateless!) weeks of my life, I caught a performance of Doubt tonight. I saw the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play on Broadway nearly two years ago, and I was really taken with it. As you probably know, John Patrick Shanley’s story involves suspicions by a 1960s-era nun that a priest may have done something (the obvious something) improper. Doubt, of course, is the theme. There are the doubts that the priest did anything wrong. Just as interestingly, the priest himself admits to some theological doubts. The audience wonders if that’s why the nun, a hardliner, is suspicious. But we know she just might be right, too.
When I saw Doubt on Broadway, it still starred Cherry Jones and Brían F. O’Byrne. Jones had just won the Tony for her performance, and deservedly so, and it was mystifying to me that O’Byrne hadn’t won for his strong performance. The touring Doubt also stars Jones, and she was as good as I remembered. O’Byrne is gone, replaced by Chris McGarry—who is good but not quite as inspiring as O’Byrne. O’Byrne’s sermons, especially the opening one built around the idea that doubt can be the actual bond of a community, were riveting.
The last time I saw Doubt, it was with the Soulmate-Who-Got-Away (SWGA)—during the weekend he confessed to having some, well, doubts about us as a couple. A part of me, I suppose, will always associate Doubt with SWGA’s damn doubts. I hoped seeing the play again would help me disassociate the two very different things; only in time, I guess, will I know whether my strategy was successful. Regardless, I know that Doubt is a helluva play, and it was a real pleasure seeing Cherry Jones play the leading role again.