Unlike most theater companies — which revive only the tried and true classics — Off-Broadway’s Mint Theatre Company is dedicated exclusively to presenting extremely rare plays that, in spite of historical significance, have fallen into neglect.
Last year, the Mint struck a major chord with its acclaimed production of Teresa Deevy’s “Wife to James Whelan.” Deevy, a deaf Irish playwright who was popular in the early 20th century, has been entirely forgotten. Now the Mint continues its exploration of Deevy’s career withher 1932 morality play “Temporal Powers.” Michael (Aidan Redmond) and Min (Rosie Benton) are married farmhands who, unable to pay the rent, have been evicted from their countryside home and forced to resettle among some abandoned ruins.
When the couple spots a small fortune hidden in a corner, quick-thinking Min sees an opportunity to escape from poverty. But her devout and stonehearted husband insists ongiving the money, which heassumes was stolen, to thelocal priest.
Pretty soon, other villagerswith colorful personalitiesare drawn into the plot,including the thief who stole and hid the loot, andthe strength of Michael and Min’s relationship is tested.
Although the temptation of found money remains a pertinent theme, “Temporal
Powers” is hardly an undiscovered gem. The play, which is presented in three acts with two intermissions, is overwritten and quickly devolves into squabbling among the extended ensemble. The dense Irish dialect can als be hard to follow.
Still, Jonathan Bank’s gentle production givesthe play an overdue second look and showcases convincing performances from a fine cast.
If you go:
“Temporal Powers” is at the Mint Theater through Oct. 2. 311 W. 34rd St., 212-315-0231, minttheater.org.