Saturday, July 20, 2013


I first saw this play back in 1982 when it was making a sensation in New York.  It had a run that included Susan Sarandon, Farrah Fawcett and Karen Allen filling the lead role. Allen was in it the longest and for my taste gave the best performance (personal disclosure, she's an old friend). And now, thirty years later, she is directing a new production at The Unicorn Theater in Stockbridge, Mass., and for me it was like seeing a brand new play.

Her casting, staging and direction create a devastatingly intense experience. Mastrosimone's play is not an easy piece to pull off. It has a few moments of unlikely humor, but the rest are all pitched at a level of intensity that is almost stressful to watch. If you haven't seen the play in its original incarnations, or the unfortunately not great film that was made of it decades ago, the subject is rape, or almost rape, and all the problems that arise from it, especially when it came to getting justice in 1982, or it seems, oftentimes still.

Molly Camp in the lead role had me totally engaged from her first entrance. From vulnerability to violence, from rational to raving, Camp plays almost all the emotions an actor has access to. James McCreary as her stalker/would be rapist is the second actor to come onstage and the early scenes are dominated by his evil manipulation and abuse and her fight for survival and eventually vengeance. The first scene was so powerful I found myself cringing and tensed up as if I were witnessing an actual attack.

The other two members of the cast, Kelly McCreary and Mriam Silverman, are equally powerful in much less physically strenuous roles but no less demanding. Camp has the toughest performance to pull off and she does, making me, as I said, cringe in the first scene and having me crying by the last scene. I love live theater when it works and this production works, thanks to Karen Allen and her cast. Well worth seeing if you're anywhere near Stockbridge, Mass.


tpw said...

Congratulations to Karen the cast--sounds like a great production.

tpw said...

Do-over: Congratulations to Karen & the cast--sounds like a great production.