Opening Night: “Crimes of the Heart” on Murder & Mayhem Mondays

“Three sisters, three identities, one crisis,” is the tagline of “Crimes of the Heart,” the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Beth Henley opening this coming week at the Kitchen Theatre.

The “warm-hearted, irreverent, zany, and brilliantly imaginative” play, directed for the Homecoming Players by local theatre personage Ross Haarstad, “teems with humanity and humor as it examines the plight of three young Mississippi sisters betrayed by their passions,” say the organizers.

Haarstad is directing a cast featuring Chantelle Daniel, Helen T. Clark, Mike Davie, Darcy Martin, Kathleen Collins, Chris Nickerson, and narrator Danielle Bates.

Cast members Chris Nickerson, Helen T Clark, Chantelle Daniel, Katey Collins, Darcy Martin Rose and Mike Davie at the first rehearsal. Photo provided.

Cast members Chris Nickerson, Helen T Clark, Chantelle Daniel, Katey Collins, Darcy Martin Rose, and Mike Davie at the first rehearsal. Photo provided.

The New York Times said of the play, “A little bit Chekhov and a little bit Eudora Welty, it tells a twangy story of three Southern sisters loving, feuding and fussing through a very bad day.” MD Theatre Guide says it ” it is part of that same literary genre known as Southern Gothic – a mix of tragedy with dark comedy.”

The play runs on just two nights, Monday, May 9th and Monday, May 16th at the Kitchen Theatre on West State Street, with showtimes at 7pm.

“Crimes of the Heart” is part of the Kitchen Theatre’s Kitchen Sink series: It’s not produced by the Kitchen Theatre Company, but is part of a program funded by CFCU Community Credit Union that enables smaller theatre companies to put on productions throughout the year when the theatre isn’t being used for Kitchen productions. “For an itinerant company like ours, a steady artistic home like the Kitchen is a tremendous boon,” Hockett says. “We pay a reasonable rental fee to KTC for one dress/tech rehearsal, plus two performances, and KTC artistic interns stage- and house-manage our shows.”

The Homecoming Players have also just announced a special return engagement of “Dotty,” a play by Arthur Bicknell that the company produced two years ago. Put on by the Homecoming Players, “Dotty” tells the story of a woman moving back to her family home and trying to reconcile with her aging mother, who’s in an assisted-living senior center. Three shows are scheduled, at 7pm on July 22nd and 23rd, and 2pm on July 24th, featuring the original cast of Carolyn Cadigan, Kristin Sad, and Camilla Schade.

Tickets are available at homecomingplayers.org/tickets, by phone at 607-272-0570, or at the Kitchen Theatre box office.

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