Lisa Ludwig, left, Eileen Dugan and Anne Gayley star the Kavinoky Theatre’s “Good People.”
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Whether people past a certain age are capable of rising above their circumstances is a preoccupation of many theatergoers and more than a few playwrights. One of them is David Lindsay-Abaire, whose play “Good People” explores the struggles and aspirations of a woman rattling around in her South Boston neighborhood, trapped in her South Boston mindset and looking desperately for a way out.

The local premiere of Lindsay-Abaire’s 2011 show opens Friday night in the Kavinoky Theatre (320 Porter Ave.). It stars Eileen Dugan as the central character, Margie, a role originally played by Frances McDormand in the Broadway production. She’ll be joined by fellow Kavinoky veterans Anne Gayley, Lisa Ludwig and Peter Palmisano, along with April A. Jones. Robert Waterhouse, the man behind popular recent productions of “Bounty” and “Venus in Fur” at the New Phoenix Theatre, as well as several well-regarded Kavinoky shows, will direct.

In a 2011 interview about the play with the New York Times, Lindsay-Abaire shared his thoughts about how the circumstances of one’s upbringing place real limits on people’s aspirations. “We have this myth that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything,” he said. “It’s not a very American thing to say, but I don’t think that’s true. It’s true for a lot of people, but you need other things to succeed. You need luck, you need opportunity, and you need the life skills to recognize what an opportunity is.”

Tickets to “Good People” are $39. Call 829-7668 or visit

– Colin Dabkowski

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