Out and About
Crimes of the Heart – on stage at Village Playhouse until Sept 29, 2018 (Toronto)
The scene is Hazlehurst, Mississippi, and Babe Magrath is having a bad day. She didn’t like the way her husband looked, so she shot him. Needless to say, he’s not too happy about it. Now out on bail, Babe reunites with her two sisters to make sense of their most recent misfortunes. Meg is back from a failed career in the music industry. Lenny is lamenting her forgotten 30th birthday. Their mother is dead, and so is the cat, and so too, nearly, is Granddaddy—not to mention their horse, who has just been hit by lightning.
Their troubles, grave but somehow hilarious, are highlighted by their priggish cousin, Chick, and by the awkward young lawyer who tries to keep Babe out of jail while helpless not to fall in love with her. In the end, the play is the story of how its young characters escape the past to seize the future—but the telling is so true and touching and consistently hilarious that it will linger in the mind long after the curtain has descended.
About the playwright….Beth Henley was born in 1952 in Jackson, Mississippi to a lawyer father and an actress mother. She was one of four sisters.
Crimes of the Heart was Henley’s first full-length play and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1981 as well as the award for Best American Play of 1981 from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle. The play also earned Henley a nomination for a Tony Award, and her screenplay for the film version of Crimes of the Heart (with Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, and Sam Shepard), was nominated for an Oscar as Best Adapted Screenplay.
Henley has stated that growing up with three sisters was a major inspiration for the play, but remains coy about exactly how true to life it is. “That’s what we [writers] do,” she laughs. “Draw on what we know. Everything I write is an amalgamation. I don’t pin any one thing on any one person.”
Characters in Henley’s plays may seek happiness but are betrayed by modern civilization. It’s been said that her work is absurdist Sigmund Freud with an Southern accent.
About Ken Stern, the director…
In his career as high school drama teacher and department head, Ken directed 24 musicals, 15 plays, and 50 collective shows – such plays as Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii, The Crucible, Tartuffe, Picnic, Twelfth Night and Two Gentlemen of Verona, as well as musicals like Oliver!, West Side Story, The Music Man, andCabaret.
Now released from the bonds of employment, Ken has directed plays for community theatres both east and west of us: Picasso at the Lapin Agile (East Side Players), The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Jitters, The Sisters Rosensweig, and Amy’s View (Burl Oak Theatre Group). Crimes of the Heart is the first show he has directed for Village Players
Village Playhouse – 2190E Bloor Street West,
Toronto @ Runnymede Subway Station
September 7 to 29, 2018
Senior Over 65 years: $20.00 (Wed/Thurs/Sun only)
Under 30 years: $20.00 (ID required)
Group of 10 or more: $20.00 (must be paid in advance; buy 15 tickets, get the 16th free)
All seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
OR …CALL 416-767-7702 FOR RESERVATIONS
Leave a message with your name, phone number, how many tickets you want, and for what show, then pay for tickets when you arrive for the show (cash or debit). The Box Office opens 45 minutes before curtain time. Reservations are held until 10 minutes before the start of a show, at which time the Box Office retains the right to sell any unpaid available seats.
Mark your calendars for these other productions for the 2018/2019 theatre season.
2. ANYBODY FOR MURDER by Brian Clemens & Dennis Spooner (Nov. 2 to 24, 2018)
Director: Anne Harper
Producer: David Nicholson
3. MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS by Ron Hutchison (January 11 to February 2, 2019)
Director: Mike Hiller
Producer: Rosemary McGillivray and Christopher Ford
4. LATE COMPANY by Jordan Tannahill (March 1 to 23, 2019)
Director: Valary Cook
Producer: Anne Harper
5. UNNECESSARY FARCE by Paul Slade Smith (April 26 to May 18, 2019)
Director: Katherine Bignell-Jones
Producers: Julie Rush and Emma Borsa
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.