Class and solidarity are a makeshift matter in David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People
Interestingly, opening night saw by far the biggest laugh go to a seemingly throwaway line. After Margie crashes an evening at Mike and Kate's home, Mike idly asks his unwanted guest if she likes the wine his wife has offered her. "How the fuck should I know?" retorts Margie, not unkindly.
Wine, and especially the appreciation of wine, is of course heavily class-coded, and the whole scene is an understated class rumpus of sorts. But the rolling laughter this line provoked among the generally comfortable Marin County audience probably spoke to more than just knowingness on that score. It sounded like a genuine, joyful release — an acknowledgement, maybe, that class is a burdensome masquerade, and in its pretense and hidden anxieties it's exhausting, including for those with passes and pretensions to a certain elevation on the ladder. Although that burden is incommensurate to the physically and psychically wrecking demands, degradations, and insecurities saddling those on the lower rungs, it's in the "conceit" of class that the play opens common ground with the audience. *
Through Sept. 15
Tue and Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Thu/5, 1pm; Sept 14, 2pm); Wed, 7:30pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm, $37-$58
Marin Theatre Company
397 Miller, Mill Valley