BWW Reviews: CRIMES OF THE HEART a Charmer
By Beth Henley
Directed by Karl Goetz and Jaime Giangrande-Holcom
March 7, 2014 at 8:00PM
"CRIMES OF THE HEART" is a charming, heartwarming, humorous, and somewhat disturbing farce, a "tragic-comedy", now playing at the Jobsite Theatre, at the Shimberg Playhouse in Tampa.
"CRIMES OF THE HEART" opened on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre in 1981 for 535 performances, winning the Pulitzer Proze for Drama and the New York Drama Critic's Circle Award for Best American Play. It received three Tony Award Nominations and three Drama Desk Award Nominations. In 1986, the play was adapted into a film that starred Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard. It received three Academy Award Nominations.
The story takes place in Hazelhurst, a small town in Mississippi and revolves around the reunion of three eccentric sisters, from a dysfunctional Southern family. Each sister confronts their past, enabling them to move on with their present lives. Before the action begins, the Jobsite Theatre production filled the house with country music, which really set the perfect atmosphere for the play. The pale yellow and pink striped wallpaper of the quaint country kitchen, with turquoise accents, added to the homespun setting of "Grandpa's house", by designer Kaylin Gess. The play opens with, plain, unmarried, unattached, Lenny, the eldest sister, who is celebrating her 40th birthday... alone. Christen Hailey as Lenny, gives a multi- level performance with just the right amount of emotional insecurity mixed with playful humor. As Meg, the wanna-be singer,(and hussy), the very attractive Katrina Stevenson, revs up the pace of the show with an energetic and confident performance. Ms. Stevenson is to be commended for never going over the top, in her self-centered portrayal of Meg. She finds the core of her role, allowing her character to be endearing as well. Katie Castonguay shines as Babe. She is perfectly cast, with her petite frame and wide eyed, child-like presence. Ms. Castonguay's dramatic monologue was show stopping and her underplayed comic moments, hilarious. As the "one you LOVE to HATE", tall and strikingly beautiful, Christina Jane Capehart, plays cousin Chick, to the hilt. The pace of the show kicks up a notch as soon as he appears on stage. J. Elijah Cho is sweet and endearing as young lawyer, Barnette Lloyd. In what "could be" a thankless role, Christopher Rutherford as Doc Porter, is outstanding. His honest, ordinary, unsophisticated, and down-to-earth portrayal was perfection. Mr. Rutherford gave a brilliant performance. The Jobsite Theatre used an update script, with references and changes that did not always work as well as the original. The staging was good, although the direction by Kari Goetz and Jaime Giangrande- Holcom was uneven. The accents in general were sporadic and sometimes a distraction and could have been balanced or eliminated by the directors, allowing for a more even flow of dialogue. The Lighting Design by Matthew Ray was warm and cozy and Sound Design by Shaun Hailey's was balanced and clear. "CRIMES OF THE HEART" is a charmingly, good production. GO SEE IT! "CRIMES OF THE HEART" will play the Shimberg Playhouse, March 5th- March 30th, 2014