“Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” The quote, from Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s The Little Prince, could well summarize the feelings of the title character in Brian Friel’s Molly Sweeney.
At 10 months old, Sweeney (Pamela Sabaugh) became legally blind. As she grows into her adult years, she now works as a massage therapist at a health club where she meets a client/soon to be husband Frank (Tommy Schrider). With the best intentions, Frank is certain that her life will be vastly improved if she has the chance to regain her sight. The pair meet Mr. Rice (Paul O’Brien), once a lauded ophthalmologist whose reputation has slipped, in part due to a dissolved relationship, and a yen for whiskey. Rice is certain that a successful operation on Sweeney will revive his career.
Sweeney recalls vivid memories of her childhood and speaks quietly of clear dreams and visions which- in fact–can be fully felt through her other senses.
Off Broadway’s Keen Company has pulled off an incredibly challenging play with style and elegance. While all three characters remain onstage for the 2.5 hr. work, the story is told in monologue form. At times, it tends to wander but Friel’s unparalleled dialogue refocuses the story.
Director Jonathan Silverstein has assembled a fine cast, each of whom accentuates the moral issues of an individual’s rights.
Keen Company’s Molly Sweeney runs through November 16th at Theater Row (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th aves.). For tickets and information, visit http://www.keencompany.org/molly