Beth Henley's CRIMES OF THE HEART Opens Tonight at Lakewood Theatre

Beth Henley's CRIMES OF THE HEART Opens Tonight at Lakewood TheatreLakewood Theatre Company continues its 61st season tonight, March 7, 2014 with Beth Henley's dramatic comedy, Crimes of the Heart. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Crimes of the Heart is a warm-hearted, irreverent and zany look at the plight of three Mississippi sisters betrayed by their passions.

Directed by Diane Englert, Crimes of the Heart continues through April 13 with the following schedule: Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30 PM; Sundays at 7:00 PM (March 9, 16 & 23) and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM (March 16, 30 and April 6 & 13). There is one Wednesday performances at 7:30 PM on March 19. The show sponsors are: Kyra's Bake Shop and Nicoletta's Table.

The theatre is located at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street in Lake Oswego. Ticket prices are $32/adults and $30/seniors. Other discounts are available for students and groups. For additional information and tickets, call the Lakewood Box Office at (503) 635-3901 or order online at

Special note: At the Wednesday, March 19 performance the theatre continues a new program this year called WOW: 25-35. For people 35 and under tickets are priced at $25 each. One hour prior to performance there will be a complimentary wine tasting hosted by World Class Wines. Come enjoy Wine on Wednesday (WOW) paired with discounted show tickets.

About the Play: The scene is Hazlehurst, Mississippi, where the three Magrath sisters have gathered to await news of the family patriarch, their grandfather, who is living out his last hours in the local hospital. Lenny (Shandi Muff), the oldest sister, is unmarried at thirty and facing diminishing marital prospects; Meg (Tricia Castañeda-Gonzales), the middle sister, who quickly outgrew Hazlehurst, is back after a failed singing career on the West Coast; while Babe (Eleanor Johnson), the youngest, is out on bail after having shot her husband in the stomach.

Their troubles, which are grave and yet, somehow hilarious, are highlighted by their priggish cousin, Chick (Kristin Barrett), an awkward young lawyer, Barnette (Kevin Carroll) who tries to keep Babe out of jail and by Doc (Stan Brown), who still holds the torch for Meg.

While they wait at the family's old homestead, the three sisters reestablish a close relationship that had gradually dissolved while the women pursued separate lives. The importance of family and community ties and the pressures of social expectations are examined as the sisters develop the necessary insight into themselves to restructure and continue their lives. In the end, the play is the story of how its young characters escape the past to seize the future - but the telling is so true and touching and consistently hilarious that it will linger in the mind long after the curtain has descended.

Set design for LTC's production of Crimes of the Heart is by Chris Whitten. Lighting and sound design is by Mark LaPierre, and costume design is by Patricia J. Rohrbach. The stage manager is Felix Kelsey and the producer is Kay Vega.

About Lakewood Theatre Company: 61 Years of Live Theatre: Founded as a not-for-profit organization in 1952, Lakewood Theatre Company is a professional theatre dedicated to the study and presentation of drama in all its forms; the training and development of actors; and the creation, maintenance and operation of a theatre in which to present plays and other forms of entertainment. Lakewood Theatre Company is the oldest continually operated, not-for-profit theatre company in the Portland Metropolitan area. It annually provides more than 400 theatre artists the opportunity to learn and display their craft and attracts more than 40,000 people to its shows.
- 61st Season - Productions in the 2013-14 season are underwritten, in part, by The Regional Arts & Culture Council and the Work for Art Program The Oregon Arts Commission The National Endowment for the Arts Media Sponsor: The Oregonian, Powering OregonLive

About the Director: Diane Englert (Director) is delighted to be directing for Lakewood Theatre Company again where she previously directed Lettice and Lovage, The Dinner Party and The Woman in Black. New York credits include Pinokenstein for the International Cringe Festival and a workshop of the original musical Heart Failure at the York (Off-Broadway). As the Associate Artistic Director of Portland Repertory Theatre, she directed productions of The Sisters Rosensweig, Angel Street, Beau Jest, Sight Unseen, A Right Spirit and workshopped dozens of new plays in the Rep Readings series she ran. Other directing credits include Lobby Hero at Artists Rep, Heart Beatings at CoHo (winner of the PAMTA for Best Original Musical), Honus and Me and Mr. A's Amazing Maze Plays at Oregon Children's Theatre, Romeo & Juliet, To Kill A Mockingbird, Junie B. Jones, A Christmas Story, Nancy Drew, Arthur and Merlyn and Little Women for Northwest Children's Theater, Still Life, Miss Lulu and The Tinderbox (Stark Raving Theatre), As You Like It (Portland Actors Ensemble), Much Ado About Nothing and The Person I Once Was at AHA! Theatre in Seattle, where she was also on the Board. Diane is co-founder and producer of SPECTRE Productions, for whom she produced 4X4 Musicals and A Grimm Late Night - Fairy Tales for Adults in the PCPA. She is also the Executive Director at Staged! Musical Theatre in Portland.

Pictured: Tricia Castañeda-Gonzales, Shandi Muff and Eleanor Johnson (seated on floor). Photo by Triumph Photography.

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