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Jurkowitz’s ‘Crimes of the Heart’ puts spotlight on family bonds

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Courtesy of Ben Crop.

Courtesy of Ben Crop.

Ben Crop

Ben Crop

Courtesy of Ben Crop.

Natalie Myking, Channels Staff

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Crimes of the Heart,” directed by R. Michael Gros, left the Jurkowitz Theater in a sentimental mood Wednesday evening, emphasizing the importance of family in hard times.

Written by Beth Henley, this was the perfect play to watch in the Jurkowitz as the intimacy of the theater really helped make the audience feel like they were experiencing all the emotions of the Magrath family right along with them.

The play’s name is fitting as each Magrath sister has committed some sort of crime of the heart. The sisters are going through various troubles, such as a lost career path, diminishing marital prospects, and being put on trial for shooting a husband in the stomach.

The play opens on the day of Lenny’s (Elaine Pazaski) 30th birthday. Alone, she lights a single candle for herself on a cookie before her snooty, high-society cousin, Chick Boyle (Leesa Beck), comes over for a pair of stockings only to end up giving Lenny a box of assorted creams for her birthday.

I imagine that many others can relate to that feeling of having a birthday that seems to feel depressing or insignificant. This play, and the actors in it, really do an excellent job at portraying those difficult feelings while intertwining them with comedy.

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of chemistry between the sisters Lenny, Meg (Charlotte Bailey), and Babe (Shay Munroe). Henley’s dialogue elevates the bond we find in our siblings or close family members, and each actress did a wonderful job of expressing her character and making it seem like the audience was simply listening in on the conversations of sisters that haven’t seen each other in a while.

In one scene, Meg and Babe have a conversation about whether Lenny had ever been with a guy before. They were sitting in the kitchen just talking but it felt like you were right there — like you could laugh and talk along with them.

Another relatable scene is the fit of laughter that Lenny and Babe break into when they are trying to tell Meg that their sick grandad had fallen into a coma. It is a picture perfect example of the sometimes nonsensical emotions that families go through during difficult times.

The comedy brings to heart the fact that we may be fighting with our family members or going through hard times, but blood is thicker than water and family is one of the most important things that you have in your life.

This play runs until April 28th at the Jurkowitz Theater.

For more information, call the Garvin Theatre box office or go to the theatre group’s website.

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Jurkowitz’s ‘Crimes of the Heart’ puts spotlight on family bonds