By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
The music's actually rather sweet in They're Playing Our Song. But don't expect a soaring whizbang of an ending. This is one of the few Broadway musicals to end on a talking scene instead of a rousing 11 o'clock number. Just blah, blah, blah, buh-bye.
Theaters keep doing Beth Henley's Crimes of the Heart, and I keep on hating it. It's a stupid play about three Southern sisters who gossip, gab, eat, scream and cry around the kitchen table for three hours. Every time another one blathers on about Ol' Granddaddy, I want to hurl something heavy.
The production at Theatre Three almost convinces me that this play isn't just Arsenic and Old Lace in Mississippi. The cast is killer: Renee Krapff as Lenny, the old-maid sister who has half-lost her mind from loneliness; Carrie Slaughter as Babe, the little sis who's just shot her rich husband because "I didn't like his looks"; Trisha Miller Smith as Meg, the slutty sibling fresh off the bus from Los Angeles, where her singing career hasn't exactly panned out; Morgana Shaw as cousin-next-door Chick, a meddling yenta with a Dixie drawl; Gary Floyd as Doc, the long-lost boyfriend Meg hooks up with for old times' sake; and Kevin Moore as Babe's ambitious defense lawyer, Barnett.
Director Terry Dobson has his actors wring every laugh and tear there is from the script, and they do it with a combination of genuine pathos and pure hokum. Why theaters love this piece-of-junk play is a mystery, but if it were always done as well as Theatre Three's doing it, I'd hate it a whole lot less.