Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Who would have thought a lyrical play about a crazy woman who kills her husband and gets the electric chair would be so engrossing?  Sophie Treadwell's 1928 play about this very subject matter is currently running at Roundabout's American Airlines Theater - and what an experience it is!

Sets by Es Devlin,  Lighting by Michael Krass and most importantly Sound by Matt Tierney are to be applauded for complementing the tumultuous and often times rhythmical, other times stream of consciousness dialogues superbly.

Rebecca Hall (Young Woman) dominates the stage in her confused and often tortured and emotionally challenged character.  Supported by a large cast of fine, well choreographed actors around her (including Arnie Burton, Morgan Spector, and Michael Cumpsty), the tale of her life unfolds in 9 dramatic and thoroughly captivating vignettes in the ever rotating and changing set.

The play was written not like today's Law and Order formulaic crime drama, but rather as a loose compilation of thoughts, ramblings, and exclamations of a disturbed woman and her desire for emotional freedom who ends up killing her husband.  After all, a play ending in an electric chair scene can't possibly be uplifting, but the exploration of character, dreams, sanity, and life that unfolds along the way add up to a remarkable theatrical experience.