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Crimes of the Heart

Crimes of the Heart at the Elite Theatre is turning into it's home stretch and has 2 more weekends (starting tonight.) This touching play, set in the deep south, follows the tumultuous life of 3 sisters brought together by a series of unfortunate events and takes you through the highs and lows of sisterhood and family life. Lenny (a part originated on stage by Kathy Bates and put on film by Diane Keaton) is portrayed by Genevieve Levin. Levin's performance is subtle and nuanced, there is a lot going on that seems to be stifled by her calm and people-pleasing demeanor, even in anger. Her estranged, Hollywood lounge singer sister, Meg (Jessica Lang in the film version) was expertly embodied by Dawn Cosgrove. Meg is the hard charging, playing with fire, disrespectful sister who toys with hearts and cares not about personal boundaries. Cosgrove's costumes were the best of the bunch, really getting that 70's Hollywood style so out of place in rural Mississippi. Babe, the sister who's interpersonal drama that has brought the family together, is played by Samantha Netzen Bingham. Babe is the wildcard, and Netzen Bingham has the most challenging job running the gamut of emotions and keeps the audience guessing with laughs, tears, and a little saxophone music Eric R. Umali, plays Doc, who wearily wears the scars of his previous relationship with Meg, both emotionally and psychically. A broken man who can't help but fall into the same traps. Umali evokes empathy from the audience in a tender manner. Patrick T. Rogers is the young upstart lawyer who gets dragged into this crazy family. He is driven by a personal vendetta and perhaps something a bit more. Probably my favorite role I've seen Rogers in. Last but not least, Kim Pendergast as Chick Boyle the unlikable neighbor. Her selfishness and poor treatment of Lenny in the opening scenes sets the action and tone of the show on the right foot. A note about the ambiance. The set is fantastic, I was transported into my grandmother's house. The appliances and color palate is perfect. The costumes land solidy in the era. And the music is wonderful, I want a CD of the songs they used. But I should mention there is a bit of smoking by one of the characters. While the cigarettes used are specifically made to emulate real tobacco, there is no tobacco used in the show. They are advertised as "herbal" however, the aroma and haze is rather convincing. The theater opens the doors and flushes out the smoke as best as it can, but please be aware that smoke is used. Runs until Mothers Day (May 12th) Pro Tip: Go on a Sunday and eat some cake afterwards! Directed by Jolyn Johnson Stage Manager Stephanie Rice Tickets:

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