Surely Goodness & Mercy is playing at Theatre Row located at 420 West 42nd Street. It runs ninety five minutes with one intermission. The play closes on April 13, 2019.
The place is Newark, New Jersey, 2019.
Tino (Jay Mazyck) is twelve years old. He is reading the Bible on his bed.
Alneesa (Sarita Covington) who we think is his mother is watching the television and eating cereal. Tino comes in and turns around to get a bowl and milk. When he comes back he takes some cereal from a box on the floor. He tries to tell her about a classmate Deja (Courtney Thomas) who had scratch her arm so badly it bleed a lot. She brushed him off, not interested.
At school he reads the Bible. He attends church alone. Alneesa won’t go with him.
Deja and Tino become friends.
The cafeteria lady Bernadette (Brenda Pressley) makes sure he has lunch.
Tino has a confrontation with his teacher in class. He keeps insisting she is wrong in what she is teaching. Next thing we know he is in the principal office with Alneesa. Tino won’t apologize so he gets three day suspension. When they get home we find out Alneesa is his Aunt. His mother was killed saving his life by stepping in front of a gun aimed at him. She doesn’t want him there, and beats him.
He goes to school with a bloody lip.
Bernadette right hand keeps shaking. She is taken to the hospital when she calls 911 from home. The diagnosis is she has MS and it will cost $7,000 for the treatment. Tino visits her in the hospital. She’s surprised he’s there but happy. Deja comes up with the idea to raise the money on the internet. They set it up.
Tino uses his Aunts cell phone. When she sees it she wants to know what’s going on. She screams at him that she wants the money. That she didn’t want kids let alone take care of him.
The money is donated they Bernadette needs.
After the janitor (Cezar Williams) leaves Tino comes out from hiding. He’s sleeping in the school. Bernadette sees him and invites him to live with her. She does some research on schools he could live on campus with a scholarship. Bernadette tells the principal about it and he says he will look into it. He tells her that there is a letter for in the office.
At first it’s confusing because you don’t know who Alneesa is. Once we do things fall in place.
This is a touching story of a young boy trying to find love and compassion to cope with what happen to his mother.
Sarit Covington and Brenda Pressley are outstanding.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.