BWW Review: MISS MURDER at Blunt Force Drama
Blunt Force Drama is excited to produce the Austin premier of this play first produced by Theater Vertigo (Portland, Oregon), directed here by Jayne Furlong. Written by Gary Strong, Emilie Landmann, and Hannah Marie Quigg, Miss Murder is a monologue play that provides first-hand accounts of the work of female serial killers from their perspective. One account is that of Ed Gein, arguably America's foremost male serial killer whose abusive mother allegedly encouraged his madness and became the inspiration for dozens of fictitious serial killers in 20th and 21st century pop culture.
People have a peculiar fascination with serial killers and not just in modern times. Experts suggest that folk tales of vampires, werewolves and other creatures were perhaps created in order to explain heinous killings in centuries past because the people then could not conceive that humans could kill other humans so gruesomely.
Personally, I love monologue plays. The interest to me is that each performer creates a miniature play with a common theme. Mark Gerchak gives a riveting performance as Ed Gein in tandem with a chilling performance from Hayley Navarre as his mother, the late Augusta Gein. Kelsy Vanderstine kicks off the show with a portrait of the heart wrenching story of the fate of Florida's Aileen Wuornos. She vividly captures Wuornos' rage and lays bare for us how every institution, every 'safe' haven failed her, miserably.
Amber Shantel Hales is wonderful as Mary Mallon, AKA 'Typhoid Mary'. She genuinely seems perplexed at the notion of her guilt (she never felt ill after all), unlike Nanny Doss (Lara Newcomer), AKA 'The giggling granny'. Doss is quite proud of her cleverness and her ability to assert control over everyone in her life. Additionally, Sue Jordan is just super-creepy in the role of infamous 19th century English baby murderess Amelia Dyer.
All of these artists provide plenty of nightmare material, and this is a good, solid play to showcase their talents and to introduce Austin's latest theatre company, Blunt Force Drama. Also featured are some killer costumes.
Performances are June 21st, 22nd, 28th, and 29th, 2019 with 1 performance each Friday night and 2 performances each Saturday night (7:30 pm and 10:00 pm with a short break between), at: CRAFT, 4704 E Cesar Chavez Austin, TX, 78702
Tickets are $14.64, available online at: https://missmurder.brownpapertickets.com/?fbclid=IwAR3zwWXPUDMaBHOqsX_6rGnfFtcQlFXhuNPaWYS6eAnFmDeH9yXee-7keFk