A BIG DOSE OF SOUTHERN GOTHIC DRAMEDY
In its first production of the 2017 Season, the Kings Players is offering up a play that is funny, sad, quirky and yes – grotesque. First there’s the mother of the three Magrath sisters, who hanged herself and the family cat when the oldest sister Lenny was fourteen and Babe, the youngest, was six. Then there’s sister Meg who left their hometown of Hazlehurst, Mississippi, years ago to seek fame and fortune in Hollywood, California without success. Meg returns to Hazlehurst after she finds out that her baby sister has just shot her husband, Senator Zachery Botrelle,…”because she didn’t like his looks.”
Oldest sister Lenny has spent most of her adult life caring for grandfather Magrath in the belief that she will always be a spinster. Because what man would want a woman who’s unable to have children because of a shrunken ovary?
Add to the mix Cousin Chick Boyle whose life’s ambition is to be admitted to the Hazlehurst Ladies’ League if she can finally overcome Babe’s mother’s double suicide and also sweep Babe’s current murder charge under the carpet.
Then there is the bittersweet history between Meg and lifelong Hazlehurst resident “Doc” Porter, whose early dream of becoming a physician was cut short by the actions of Meg and Hurricane Camille.
Asked why she chose to direct “Crimes of the Heart”, Director Bethany Reynolds said it was because the Magrath sisters’ personalities remind Reynolds of her own mother and aunt. For Reynolds, the key message of the play resolves around love. Whatever their conflicts with each other, when it comes right down to it the Magrath sisters truly love each other.
Actor Krystie McWells is having a fabulous time portraying Meg, because “Meg says what she thinks and takes what she wants and doesn’t just wait for things to happen!” Meg may not always act like she likes her oddball family, but she definitely loves them
Mary-Catherine Paden as Cousin Chick Boyle, describes Chick as a bit of a bully and a committed social climber. Unfortunately, the rest of the Magrath family has been nothing but an obstacle to Chick’s unrelenting efforts to be admitted to the Hazlehurst Ladies League.
Amber Munoz describes Babe as the sister who both loves and admires her oldest sister Lenny, but is much closer to Meg because Babe can confide in Meg. But for reasons of her own, Babe never fully explains why she shot her husband or discloses the darker secrets of their marriage.
Suzanne Wilson sees her character Lenny Magrath as a surrogate mother to Babe, but Lenny deeply resents all the attention and praise Meg received during their growing-up years together. Meg was the one who ran around and drank and left home while Lenny was the reliable steadfast daughter who cared for her sisters and her aging grandfather. But it was alwyas Meg who “ received all the attention”.
Dorian Alexander’s character Barnette Lloyd is a “passionate new attorney” just starting up his law practice in Hazlehurst. Lloyd is also a very kind person and his only possible flaw is his hatred for Botrelle and his determination to avenge his father’s downfall at Botrelle’s hands by any possible means.
Steven Walker respects his character Doc Porter for being a thoughtful and reserved individual and a loyal friend to Lenny. But although married, Doc still carries a torch for Meg and is clearly tempted to rekindle their former relationship when Meg comes back to Hazlehurst. According to Walker”That is Doc’s one flaw”.
Director Reynolds promises to give the audience plenty of laughter and a few tears as they share the emotional ups, downs, twists and turns of the Magrath family in “Crimes of the Heart”.
What: Kings Players presents “Crimes of the Heart”
When: March 3-4, 10-12, 17-19 and 24-26. Friday and Saturday performances start at 7:30 p.m., Sundays performances start at 2 p.m.
Where: The Temple Theater, 514 E. Visalia St. in Hanford.
Cost: Tickets as $12 in advance (at www.kingplayers.net)