TheatreWorks to Kick Off the New Year with CRIMES OF THE HEART

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley continues its 2016/2017 season with Beth Henley's brilliantly imaginative tale of relationships, Crimes of the Heart.

Three hard-luck sisters reunite in their small, pitiless Mississippi hometown, each nursing her own grudge. In a hurricane of hilarity and hurt, Lenny is turning 30, Meg is fresh from rehab, and Babe is out on bail. The boundaries of sisterhood are put to the test as each sibling comes to terms with her dreams gone awry.

This Pulitzer Prize and NY Drama Critics Circle Award-winning play will be directed by Giovanna Sardelli. Crimes of the Heart will have performances January 11 - February 5, 2017 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St, Mountain View. For tickets ($31-$80) and information the public may visit or call (650) 463-1960.

Playwright Beth Henley completed Crimes of the Heart in 1978. The play's origin is something of a success story. Unknown to Henley, a friend entered the comedy in the Great American Play Contest at The Actors Theatre of Louisville, where it was named co-winner for the 77/78 season. In February 1979 the play was produced at The Actors Theatre annual Festival of New American Plays, starring Kathy Bates as Lenny.

Crimes of the Heart continued its rise with several regional theatres (including the California Actors Theatre of Los Gatos) producing the show for their 1979/1980 seasons, followed by a sold-out Off-Broadway run in 1980 at the Manhattan Theatre Club. The following year the play opened on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre, starring Mary Beth Hurt as Meg Magrath and Peter MacNicol as Barnette Lloyd, where it played for 535 performances. For this production Henley was honored as the first woman in 24 years to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play also received the New York Critics Award for Best American Play, the Theatre World Award, the George Oppenheimer/Newsday Playwriting Award for 1980-81. The production received three Tony Award nominations, and marked MacNicol's Broadway debut, earning him a Theatre World Award for his performance, and Hurt an Obie Award and a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play. Holly Hunter also made her Broadway debut in Crimes of the Heart, as a replacement for the role of Meg.

In 1986, a film adaptation of Crimes of the Heart (featuring Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, and Sam Shepherd) collected three Academy Award nominations, including one for Henley for Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2001, Second Stage Theatre presented an Off-Broadway revival, which captured a nomination for the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Revival, and in 2007 another revival production was staged starring Lily Rabe, and Sarah Paulson. It has been performed in major cities around the country and in London's West End.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley has assembled a remarkable cast for this production. In the role of the eldest sister, Lenny Magrath is Therese Plaehn, who has been seen in several Off-Broadway productions and has appeared at regional theatres including the Huntington, American Repertory, Barefoot Theatre Company, and Gloucester Stage Company. Ms. Plaehn has also made many television appearances including Mr. Robot on USA and CBS' crime drama Blue Bloods. This will be her TheatreWorks debut.

Sarah Moser, as the middle Magrath sister, Meg, is making her return to TheatreWorks. She was last seen in the World Premiere of The Great Pretender where she starred as Jodi, garnering a nomination for Best Featured Actress from the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle in 2014. Ms. Moser has performed at regional theatres such as San Francisco Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Palo Alto Players, and Shotgun Players. She received the 2014 Theatre Bay Area Award for Best Featured Actress for her performance in The Coast of Utopia: Voyage at Shotgun Players, and the 2014-2015 Theatre Bay Area TITAN Award for Acting.

The youngest sister, Babe, will be played by Lizzie O'Hara, making her TheatreWorks debut. She has been seen at local theatres including the Center Repertory Company, and Ray of Light Theatre.

Laura Jane Bailey will also be making her TheatreWorks debut as Chick Boyle, cousin to the Magrath sisters. She has performed at regional theatres including the Aurora Theatre, City Lights Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, Crowded Fire, Famous Door, and Victory Garden. Ms. Bailey received a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for her performance as Kathleen in Impact Theatre's Crevice.

Doc Porter, Meg's former boyfriend, will be played by Timothy Redmond, making his TheatreWorks Mainstage debut. He was last seen at TheatreWorks' 2014 New Works Festival in An Entomologist's Love Story as Jeff. Mr. Redmond has worked with theatres including Z Space, Shotgun Players, Boxcar Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre, and South Coast Repertory.

Joshua Marx will also make his TheatreWorks debut as Barnette Lloyd, Babe's lawyer. He has performed at theatres such as the Berkeley Playhouse, City Lights Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Director Giovanna Sardelli is TheatreWorks' Director of New Works and has directed and developed plays all over the country, including ten Off-Broadway plays within ten years. Sardelli directed TheatreWorks' 2013 production of Somewhere by rising star Matthew Lopez, the company's 2011 World Premiere of Pulitzer Prize-nominee Rajiv Joseph's The North Pool, the 2015 production of Joseph's The Lake Effect, and last season she helmed The Velocity of Autumn. Besides her well-received productions with TheatreWorks, Sardelli also directed the World Premiere of Theresa Rebeck's Dead Accounts, and Rajiv Joseph's first professional production, Huck & Holden, as well the World Premieres for his All This Intimacy, The Leopard and the Fox, The North Pool, and Animals Out of Paper for which she was awarded the Joe A. Callaway Award for Best Direction.

With some 100,000 patrons per year, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast locally and from across the country. A home for artists developing new works, it was at TheatreWorks that Memphis was first workshopped and received its world premiere. Memphis went on to win the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical, and played on Broadway for three years before embarking on a 19-month national tour, followed by an extended run on London's West End, where it captured two Olivier Awards.

Related Articles View More San Francisco Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You