Even the most astonishing of stage magic cannot match the sparks generated when unhinged yet charismatic characters square off under the spotlight. For a prime example, check out the Guthrie Theater's inaugural production of Pulitzer Prize-winning pitch-black comedy Crimes of the Heart. Written by Beth Henley, Crimes of the Heart wears dysfunction shamelessly in its feverish depiction of three sisters reluctantly attempting reconciliation after a lifetime of estrangement. Reuniting in the wake of yet another family tragedy, each MaGrath sibling carries her own personal crisis, including mental breakdowns and the shooting of a husband. Psychotic episodes and alleged attempts at mariticide are just some of the secrets ready to spill with every flared temper. Confined to the same inescapable space, these volatile personalities ignite a firestorm of hysterics capable of shifting from hilarious to harrowing in a single sentence. Such dynamic range has found an equally versatile cast in the headlining trio of Maggie Chestovich, Georgia Cohen, and Ashley Rose Montondo. With supporting turns from Sarah Agnew, Sam Bardwell, and David Darrow, this Marcela Lorca-directed production offers the oddly endearing spectacle of familial upheaval. In previews May 3-8.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: May 3. Continues through June 15, 2014