'Crimes of the Heart'

Babe (Clara Zinky) (right) tells her sister, Meg (Gracie Hallberg-Cain), about her abusive husband during the Viroqua Community Theatre's production of 'Crimes of the Heart' at The Ark

Viroqua Community Theatre brought Hazlehurst, Miss., to the stage as it presented Beth Henley’s dramatic comedy, “Crimes of the Heart,” at The Ark, this past weekend.

The three-act play, which won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 1982 Tony Award for Best Play, takes place in the kitchen of the Magrath sisters’ house in Hazlehurst, Miss., the home where they were raised by their grandparents. It’s fall 1974, five years after Hurricane Camille.

The three eccentric sisters are Lenny, 30, the oldest sister, played by Angie Bernstein; Meg, 27, the middle sister, played by Gracie Hallberg-Cain; and Babe Botrelle, 24, the youngest sister, played by Clara Zinky. The sisters have gathered to await news of their grandfather, who is living out his final hours in the local hospital.

Lenny is struggling with turning 30 and her diminishing marital  prospects; Meg’s singing career on the West Coast is no more; and Babe is out on bail because she shot her abusive husband, Zachary, in the stomach.

Adding to the mix is Chick Boyle, 29,  the sisters’ meddling and bossy first cousin, played by Jennifer Horton; Doc Porter, 30, Meg’s former boyfriend, played by Robert Anthony; and Barnette Lloyd, 26, Babe’s determined lawyer, played by James Muller.

Throughout the play, the characters reflect and at times dwell on their past and argue about it, before finally looking ahead to a future filled with hope.

There are many funny, laugh-out loud moments, mixed in with the poignant and dramatic.

All of the characters were well cast, and they had their moments to shine. The accents were spot on, and the clothing and props took the audience back to 1974.

The play was directed by Peter Daniels and featured original music by Tom Gullion.

VCT will give the play again at The Ark, 401 E. Jefferson St., Viroqua, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for those 18 and under, and can be purchased at Bramble Books, Nelson Agri-Center, Village Market, Viroqua Food Co-op or at the door prior to performances.

The show is for those 13 and older.

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