Subscribe to our Newsletter

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Enter Your Email Below
Crimes of the Heart

Review of Crimes of the Heart

Illinois Central College Theatre Program
By Douglas E. Love

“Crimes of the Heart” opened at Illinois Central College this weekend.  It’s one of more intriguing shows to play Central Illinois in quite some time.

There’s so much to like about this show, in particular the performances of our three lead actresses Andrea Williams — kudos, kudos to you, a brilliant job—, Sarah McCabe, and Katie Hellrigel.

This is a show that won the Pulitzer Prize for drama back in 1981, and also won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best new American play in that same year.

And watching the story unfold, I can understand why it won these awards, the writing is really, really good — the way it’s all tied together.

So we’ve got great acting and a very compelling script, yet, there’s something amiss.

The story is set in 1974 in a small Mississippi town, and the stage is set up like a quaint southern kitchen — with a table and a bed in it.  The play encompasses, roughly a 24-hour period.  And the entire script revolves around these three sisters. 

There’s Lenny (Andrea Williams), and it’s her 30th birthday, and this is where she lives.  Her sister Meg, who is the bad seed of the family, has just returned from Hollywood where she has left behind her dreams of becoming a singer.  And the youngest sister, Babe, has just been release or bonded out of jail for shooting her husband.

Now, the entire play consists of them sharing remembrances with each other, and exposing each other’s secrets.  So, when one sister leaves the kitchen, the other two talk about her.  And this is how we find stuff out.  And because they’re women, it’s largely an emotional play, and we ride their rollercoaster of ups and downs.

There is a host of characters, both seen and unseen, that pop in and out of the story.  For example, we are introduced to their granddaddy and their mother, but never see them.  On the other hand, Meg’s former fiancĂ©e Doc Parker shows up; Babe’s lawyer Barnette Lloyd appears; as does Lenny’s neighbor —and cousin— Chick Boyle, who comes and goes at will.

The rest of the cast consists of Ryan Wayne, who plays Meg’s ex;  Patrick Clark as the young and handsome lawyer;  and Bethany Shuford, as Chick, is the comedic element in the show.

This Elizabeth Becker Henley tragi-comedy creates a rather intriguing theatre experience.  And while it’s been categorized in the “black comedy” genre, it’s not that dark or that tragic.  There is a lack of visible action that makes this play feel like there’s something missing.  But overall, it’s an interesting story, a good change of pace, and you might want to check it out.

 “Crimes of the Heart” will continue its run now through Saturday, November 20th, with performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Illinois Central College Performing Arts Center Studio Theatre.  A special matinee performance will be held on Sunday, November 21st at 2:30 pm.  Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors.  Tickets may be purchased at the box office.  For more information call 309-694-5136.

<< Start < Prev 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Next > End >>

Page 30 of 31