Monday, August 9, 2010

Women's Theatre Project: Wicked Sisters (4 reviews)

The Women's Theatre Project opened their production of Alma De Groen's Wicked Sisters on August 5, 2010.
...a sharp-fanged, humorous look at the shape of women's lives.  A scientific genius dies and his widow, Meridee, hosts lunch for three friends.  The four women have known each other since their youth but their lives have gone in divergent directions.  As secrets unravel through their reminiscences, theories of evolution based on "deadly" competition begin to have an uncanny resonance and Meridee's genteel idyll dissolves into a battleground.
Genie Croft directed a cast that featured Miki Edelman, Elizabeth Dimon, Jude Parry, and Linda Bernhard.

The Sun-Sentinel has declined to review this production.*

Brandon K. Thorp reviewed for the Broward/Palm Beach New Times:
It's difficult to say whether playwright Alma de Groen's script would feel so awkward if the ladies would content themselves with mere  cattiness. As it is, de Groen very soon forces these characters to discuss the moral implications of Darwinism, materialism, and the work of Meridee's late husband. His last great contribution to science is the computer in the corner. Its digital life forms, with their brutish vitality, could act as a brilliant metaphor for the caprices of nature and could even serve as a reminder of why these women might need one another. Unfortunately, de Groen never wanders too far down that road, preferring instead to fill her script with cheap, deep thoughts. "If there is no spirit, what is it that's hurting so fucking badly?" one lady asks, as though we didn't already know: These ladies are miserable because they're mean. Long before it concludes its investigation of metaphysics, Wicked Sisters is all out of mysteries.
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
Though the play contains truths about women's lives, it is made less compelling by improbabilities ... and irrelevancies ...
Director Genie Croft has cast the production well, her greatest asset being Dimon, who expertly conveys the aching heart of a flawed woman. The flamboyant Bernhard chews much of designer Dan Rogers' workmanlike set -- which is OK, because that's the kind of woman Lydia is -- but her ``Australian'' accent toggles between New South Wales and the American South. A radiant Parry effectively communicates both Hester's kookiness and her simmering need for revenge. Edelman, who seems a bit too benumbed at first, comes through dramatically once Meridee starts spilling the truths of her life with Alec.
Bill Hirschman reviewed for South Florida Theater Review:
Despite the efforts of its hard-working actresses, the American premiere at The Women’s Theatre Project couldn’t disguise that De Groen has grafted four different plays onto each other in succession.
Each facet is mildly interesting, even making you laugh or ponder occasionally. But while superlative playwrights can whiplash you convincingly between comedy and pathos, this script seems too schizophrenic to be cohesive, compelling or consistently comprehensible.
De Groen has achieved some admirable goals. She gives four terrific actresses of a certain age the meaty roles they deserve.  And, she gives an articulate voice to the concerns and challenges facing these characters. She also cross-examines the myth of unshakeable sisterhood and the subtle aftershocks of the feminist movement.
Wicked Sisters is not a wasted evening of theater – there’s too much talent at work here for that to happen. But it’s not a fully satisfying one either.
Roger Martin reviewed for Miami
...under Genie Croft's direction any hope of subtly working to a climax is lost. From the top of the show, declamatory speeches and busily awkward blocking are the order. And oh, the accents. They range all over the English speaking world, only very occasionally passing through the Australian continent.
Wicked Sisters does not draw one in. Lydia and Hester, played by Linda Bernard and Jude Parry, are overly broad and while Elizabeth Dimon and Miki Edelman as Judith and Meridee are more grounded, they too, as they also drink their way through the show, lose their subtlety. This remains a not particularly well written play, not particularly well presented.
The Women's Theatre Project production of Wicked Sisters plays at Sixth Star Studios through August 29, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. This show was simply FANTASTIC. Great Plot, Great Actress, and Loved the small cozy environment. WOW...WHAT A FIND. PLUS free parking! Refreshments were available.
    From a play going fan...Diana