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BWW Review: SISTER SORRY at Barrington Stage Company the World Premiere of a Suspense Filled New Drama

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A Good Psychological Thriller in a Relatively Small Package

BWW Review: SISTER SORRY at Barrington Stage Company the World Premiere of a Suspense Filled New Drama
Christopher Sears, Jennifer Van Dyck
Photos by David Dashiell

SISTER SORRY, loosely based on a stunning true crime confession, and directed by BSC Associate Artist Joe Calarco, stars Jennifer Van Dyck and Christopher Sears. In the early 1990s in New York City, a conceptual artist (Van Dyck) invites the public to confess their crimes anonymously - via an answering machine. One caller (Sears) captures her attention with a stunning and unbelievable confession, which quickly unravels into a suspenseful and thrilling adventure. Based on a true story, Sister Sorry is inspired by Alec Wilkinson's "The Confession," originally published in The New Yorker.

The set designed by Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams is minimalistic. While that is understandable given current considerations, it is not the most effective. The two performers interact at times within close proximity and without walls, this can be confusing. Lighting designed by David Lander is effective and helps to support scenic elements (posters / leaflets) that play an important role as the story is presented.

BWW Review: SISTER SORRY at Barrington Stage Company the World Premiere of a Suspense Filled New Drama
David Sears
Photo: David Dashiell

The story itself is strong. What appears to be a fairly simple premise at first, becomes intricate and complex. As the action quickly unfolds over 75 minutes presented without intermission, we find ourselves questioning perception versus reality more and more. I found myself with an overwhelming sense that what I was watching play out could easily have been an episode of television's Law and Order or perhaps, more appropriately, the Broadway production of EQUUS from the 1970s. In fact, I can't recall having experienced a tightly woven psychological thriller like this over the last forty odd years. Let alone, a good one which SISTER SORRY is.

BWW Review: SISTER SORRY at Barrington Stage Company the World Premiere of a Suspense Filled New Drama
Jennifer Van Dyck
Photo: David Dashiell

Jennifer Van Dyck should be no stranger to Berkshire audiences. Her performance as Sister Sorry is first-rate. The character she portrays seems to be something of an amalgamation of Dr. Phil, Nancy Grace, and Olivia Benson. She displays a multitude of character elements as she drives us down a very windy path with a wealth of twists, turns, and surprises. Christopher Sears as Jack Flash proves himself to be both a competent and worthy acting partner, as well as adversary for the title character. Sears' intensity is palpable and increases with energy and intensity. As the two characters play out their macabre tango spiraling further and further down a very slippery slope, we find ourselves questioning perception versus reality again and again.

BWW Review: SISTER SORRY at Barrington Stage Company the World Premiere of a Suspense Filled New Drama

SISTER SORRY represents another world premier at BSC so you probably have no idea what it is nor why you should see it. It is new, it is different, and it is very well done. While I am not in a position to say it is on par with the likes of the works of Alfred Hitchcock, I certainly left the theater with a strange and eerie feeling that reminded me of what I had when I saw Rear Window.

SISTER SORRY continues indoors on the Boyd-Quinson Stage at Barrington Stage Company in downtown Pittsfield through August 29th. Visit https://barringtonstageco.org/ for tickets and information.


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