Crimes of the Heart

Sibling bonds might be famed for durability, but the same connections can be shackles to anyone hoping to make an escape from their family. For example, look to the luckless sisters at the center of Crimes of the Heart, opening at Bloomington Civic Theatre's Black Box Theater. In the story, imbued with an acidic wit by playwright Beth Henley, the three Magrath sisters represent walking calamities, perpetually enduring the consequences of ill-advised actions. Eldest sister Lenny is approaching her 30th birthday with a spinster's fatalism. Middle sister Meg is reeling from a stalled singing career and a stint in a mental hospital. And youngest sister Babe is facing prison for the inexplicable shooting of her husband. Throw a gossipy cousin named Chick into the mix and the already combustible personalities are destined for an emotional meltdown. Fortunately Henley avoids the mocking voyeurism of daytime talk shows by choosing instead to empathize with these patently flawed figures. The task of eliciting sympathy for the sisters has been placed in the capable hands of director Wendy Lehr, one of the local theater scene's most accomplished artists. With a career dating back to 1962, Lehr possesses well-honed sensibilities that will provide the talented cast (including Tracy Hodgdon, Lindsay Marcy, Erin Mae Johnson, and Billie Jo Konze) with just enough rope to bind the Magrath sisters together ... if they don't strangle one another in the process. (Photo by Vicki Madsen)
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: May 18. Continues through June 10, 2012

 
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