Wednesday, September 9, 2015

review - CRIMES OF THE HEART - Theatre Artists' Studio

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through September 20th.

"...Beth Henley('s)...CRIMES OF THE HEART... a poignant and ironic portrayal of three sisters (hints of Chekhov but with a distinct Southern Gothic twist) that won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1981 and went on to garner a spate of nominations and awards for its movie version.  All the ingredients are here for a finely textured, heavily layered, and highly nuanced set of performances ~ quirky characters, dark humor, and catastrophe.  Theatre Artists Studio in Phoenix attacks the challenge with zest, and the result, under Brad Allen's direction, is a stirring production ...Allen, with the assist of Patti Davis Suarez, has enhanced the play of emotions and revelations with a homey, inviting, and finely detailed set. Where better than the kitchen to share secrets, tell stories, and feed the soul!... Dee Rich.. delivers a defining and compelling performance as the eldest sister left behind to care for her dying (hospitalized) grandfather and to wonder whether spinsterhood is her fate. ...(as) her meddlesome and self-righteous cousin, Chick. Julie Lee is priceless as the unnerving harbinger of local gossip and the judge and jury of other people's lives...The news of the day is sister Babe's shooting of her husband. Babe on bail (Ashley Faulkner) takes refuge in Lenny's home. Sister Meg (Debra Rich) alights as well, returned from a failed career as a singer in Hollywood. If Lenny is tightly wound, then Beth is as loose as a goose and Meg is a half-loaded pistol.  Doc Porter (Aaron Seever), Meg's boyfriend from an earlier time ~ now older, married, and not necessarily wiser ~ shows up and memories of a past romance are rekindled ...Debra Rich does well in conveying Meg's pain and longing for reconnection. The interplay with Doc would be all the more compelling if her counterpart were as believable.  Joshua Vern rounds out the cast with a finely caricatured turn...Henley offers a message of hope that is wrapped in a final embrace." -  -Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

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