Monday, January 21, 2008
Crimes of the Heart
For me, Crimes of the Heart holds an awkward place in my own heart. Right next to Steel Magnolias.
Not only because they are simple, kitchen sink, explorations into the southern women's lives, but because I think every girl in high school was forced to do a scene from these shows in acting class at some point.
As a result, I was forced to watch way too many scenes from Crimes of the Heart. And with all due respect to the ladies whose scenes I watched, I hated watching them.
So imagine my surprise when I saw the show last night and liked it!
Watching the scenes out of context, the characters seemed silly, and the situations absurd. But seeing the whole story it made what was torture into a sweet story about sisters. Or rather... only slightly tortuous.
The sweet, sentimental, southern family slice of life serio-comic play is not my thing. But for what is was, it was a nice evening out.
Now just to be clear, when I say I "liked it", I do mean it in the most condescending way possible. It was overly sweet, overly sentimental, and overly southern for me. But I am a sucker and will fall for that stuff despite my better judgement.
It revolves around three sisters. One sister is just turning 30 and one has returned home after moving to LA to pursue a singing career. She comes home because the third and youngest sister just shot her husband, and they come to help her.
I wish the play went deeper and darker then it does, but that's not the style. It's about people who make coffee (on the stove mind you) for every guest who comes to their house and who leave their doors unlocked all day and night and where gossiping and catching up is the night life.
The set was great and overly detailed and decorated. I could have stared at it for ever, and whenever my attention wained, the set was there to hold my attention.
My favorite detail was a cellar door that was never used. And looks like it hasn't been used in years, as there is a bunch of furniture and a lamp in front of it, as if it isn't even a door, but part of the wall. Of course we find out later that the girls mother hung herself down there, and while its never spoken about, it served as a reminder of the sadness that these sisters felt for their mothers suicide.
I saw an understudy for the role of Babe, Jessica Cummings. She was great. I'm assuming she had little time to rehearse as they just started previews and understudy rehearsals don't start until then, if not after opening. Kudos to her!