Saturday, January 26, 2008

Passion play

Last weekend we saw Crimes of the Heart, Beth Henley's Pulitzer Prize-winning play set in rural Mississippi that deals with sisterhood, scandal, murder and suicide in a somehow loving, sometimes laughable way. (It became an '80s movie with Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange and Sissy Spacek, but I missed it -- at the time, probably wasn't interested in anything that wasn't animated.)

Little bit of weird trivia, Diane Keaton played eldest sister Lenny in the movie; Jennifer Dundas, who plays Lenny on stage, was also cast as Diane Keaton's daughter in two movies. Anyway, aside from that little tidbit, Dundas was excellent in the tightly wound role. Sarah Paulson, whose face you know you've seen ("Studio 60," What Women Want (Mel Gibson's assistant), The Other Sister [also as Keaton's daughter!], "Jack & Jill"), plays wild-child middle sister Meg. Paulson and Dundas worked expertly off each other -- both in moments of drama and comic relief. I liked the girl who played Babe, too, but she was the understudy and I feel horrible but I don't remember her name.

Kathleen Turner (yes, the "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way"/Body Heat/Romancing the Stone Kathleen Turner) directed. I was hoping she'd come take a bow at the end, but all we heard from her was the request to turn off cell phones. Regardless, I'd highly recommend the play.

If you're under 35 (and let's face it, if you're one of the two people aside from Mom reading this you fit that description) you can join the Roundabout Theatre's HipTix group for free and get a $20 ticket. I think you can only get one though, so you have to get a friend to join if you want company. But it's a good deal and applies to their other plays, too, so it's worth joining.

You could also try general rush for rear mezzanine tickets on the day of performance for $21.25 - $26.25 or student rush 30 minutes before curtain for the best available seats half off (full price $64-$74).

Roundabout Theatre's Crimes of the Heart
Harold and Miriam Steinberg/Laura Pels Theatre
111 West 46th St. (between 6th & 7th)
Subway: B, D, F, V to Rockefeller Ctr.; 1 to 50th; N, R, W to 49th
Shows Tuesday-Saturday 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday 2 p.m.

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