Photo by Don Kellogg

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Crimes of the Heart

Beth Henley, the Pulitzer prize winning playwright brought us Crimes of the Heart in 1979. Roundabout Theater Company brought it to us briefly in 1980 in a limited run. It enjoyed a substantial Broadway run at the John Golden Theater in 1981. Most of us don't remember any of that, but do recall the 1986 film adaptation staring Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, and Sissy Spacek.

Well, none of them were here this time around. Kathleen Turner makes her directorial debut toiling over relative stage newcomers Jennifer Dundas (Arcadia), Lily Rabe (Heartbreak House, Steal Magnolias) and Sarah Paulson (Glass Menagerie, The Sisters Rosensweig).

The story comes across a bit dated (circa 1974, Hazelhurst, Mississippi). The southern were accents a bit over-done, and the overall premise, aside from the black comedy aspects, a tad bit dumb. Many may remember the movie having more off-beat characters. Not found here. One bright spot in the play was the above average performance by Jennifer Dundas. Unlike her two other sisters, she delivered a believable and empathetic performance.
Stick with the movie and let's wait for Kathleen Turner to sink her chops into some better material next time!