Peace, Love, and Homicide
I glanced up, regarding the stainless steel comedy and tragedy faces, which weren’t there in the previous year of my attendance at Liberty North; my eyes glinted in high respect for everything accomplished, and to think that I was actually here to experience it. For the Laramie Project last year, the other cast members and I weren’t able to perform in the brand-new auditorium. This caused me to reflect to last year, to the black box theater, which barely seated 50 people. Seeing it echoed tenfold to the monstrous size of the 900-seated auditorium shocked me into the reality that last year was only a memory. I was given a brief reprieve from my reminiscing to chat with the other playgoers for a few moments, and then the lights began to dim as the play began.
I could barely contain my excitement now as once again a wave of nostalgia hit as the play started off with a slow song just as the Laramie Project had. The first character stepped on stage, which I later learned was Lenny, the oldest sister in the play. As I recalled from the program, the play was about three sisters: Lenny (played by sophomore Elisa Parker), Meg (played by junior Kristen Holleman), and Babe (played by sophomore Emily McFadden). The sisters reunited on a day that consisted of a multitude of unfortunate events; their grandfather of was in the hospital, after having had another stroke; Babe had just shot her husband who had been abusing her for months beforehand, pushing her into a shock of insanity; while Meg whored herself around with her old boyfriend. All of these events transpired on the days surrounding Lenny’s 30th birthday.
The play only consisted of six characters, highly limiting the possibility of getting a part and thus limited the talent that other students could have brought to the table. The play seemed to drag on for awhile during the first half of the play, with a couple shots of humor here and there, along with the random moment of drama; however, the first half of the play, as I begrudgingly admit, was rather boring, and I remember wishing I could go home.
After witnessing the second half of the play, however, I’m glad I hadn’t left, or gone to McDonalds to get fattening and delicious chicken nuggets. What made Act Two good wasn’t just a portion of the cake I got to take home after the sisters threw it at each other; the second half, just as the cake, was highly decorated with the delicious frosting of humor and the scrumptious sprinkles of drama that seemed to tie the whole piece together, albeit a harsh cliffhanger at the end. The message was clear and concise: to not let the bad moments keep you in a trough of depression, as you will always pull out of it. Yet the way it was delivered at some points in the piece were not up to par with the acting skills necessary to keep the audience captivated at all times.
For the first theatrical performance in the Liberty North Performing Arts Theater, Crimes of the Heart was a justifiable play to pave the way for future performances; the balance of drama and comedy was reflective of the faces now hanging above the entrance to the theater.