In our household, John Patrick Shanley is known as the writer-director of 1990’s Joe vs. the Volcano
, a little jewel awaiting rediscovery. (His Oscar-winning Moonstruck
script is a gem, too.) But yeah, he wrote this other script you might know. As cool as it is to have Shanley in Nashville, the big news to us is the production that accompanies his visit. The guy playing the role Phillip Seymour Hoffman had in the movie — that of a priest engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with the nun who suspects him of unholy doings — is an amazing actor named Steven Pounders, who cut his teeth in Middle Tennessee productions before going on to professional credits across the country. I’ve watched him perform since I was 10 years old — OK, we were in the same Murfreesboro Scout troop — and he will undoubtedly swat this part into the stratosphere. And if you’re still not sold … did I mention Nan Gurley’s playing the nun (the Meryl Streep role)? That oughta do it. Shanley hosts a “Talk Back” after tonight’s performance, open only to registrants at Lipscomb’s Christian Scholars’ Conference (see here
); the play begins its public run the next night.