Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 07 February 2011 22:47

Three more sisters

Written by Bob Wilcox
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

Three more sisters
westendplayers.org/John Lamb

The Memory of Water, a play about three English sisters, reminds me more of Beth Henley and the sisters in Crimes of the Heart than of Chekhov and his three sisters.

Playwright Shelagh Stevenson's sisters, reunited in their family home for their mother's funeral, fit into what seems to be the pattern for such trios. Mary is the successful M.D. with lots of untidiness in her life, including an affair with a married man. Teresa is the organized one, cleaning up after everyone else, a partner in a nutritional supplements business with her husband, assured and confident on the surface and deeply unhappy. Catherine is the youngest, clinging desperately to her rapidly passing youth and a victim – in her own eyes – of a series of failed romantic relationships.

I got a little tired of Catherine's complaining and of her silliness, excessive even for a pothead. That is, I got tired of Catherine as written. I did not get tired of Belinda Quimby, who is playing her in the West End Players Guild production and who is always a delight.

As Teresa, Leslie Wobbe gets to stretch out beyond the confines of her usual roles, and as usual she plays the part with an absolutely sure touch, including a perfectly calibrated drunk scene.

Suki Peters anchors the trio as Mary, the sister treated by the playwright with the greatest seriousness. Peters brings some fine shadings to her thoughtful performance.

Mary also receives visits from their recently deceased mother. I felt these ghostly encounters were largely unnecessary, giving us information about the sources of the sisters' inner and outer turmoil that is at least implicit in the rest of the play, and they grow tedious in their obvious reiteration of a mother's never-ending influence on her daughters. Meg Brinkley is stuck with playing this unattractive, often supercilious character, who is given lines that Brinkley, perhaps also struggling with an English accent, has trouble making sound natural.

Ben Ritchie smartly underplays the wrenching dilemmas of Mary's lover, and Chris M.R. Jones, as Teresa's personally and professionally frustrated husband, surprises with moments of hilarious physical comedy.

Director Tom Kopp designed the set for the mother's bedroom, decorated as the mother would have decorated it, lighted by Stephanie Draper. Vallerie Dillard's clever costumes tell you all about the characters the moment you see them. Joshua Cook's unobtrusive sound design repays noticing.

Shelagh Stevenson's The Memory of Water shows little originality but is often amusing. Under Tom Kopp's direction, it gets an even better production. It continues at the West End Players Guild in the Union Avenue Christian Church through Sunday afternoon, February 13, 2011. Information and tickets are online at www.westendplayers.org.

Additional Info

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Lida Una

Sun October 5

Brian Owens

Mon September 29
Brian Owens is an American soul singer and songwriter from St. Louis. His new album Preach combines grooves, with soul touching lyrics.. Preach is a well produced album that speaks to the modern times,…

KDHX Recommends

October
Thursday
23

Discovery Series: Crossroads in the Blues

KDHX presents "Crossroads in the Blues" as part of the Discovery Series. Series passports can be bought online. Ron Edwards of KDHX's "Nothin' But the Blues" provides a guide through pivotal moments in...


October
Saturday
25

KDHX Reggae Soundclash

St. Louis area DJs and sound systems meet at the Stage at KDHX for a reggae soundclash. The event pits Dub Prophecy vs. Massive Hi Fi in a “friendly clash” – alternating sets of the toughest sounds and the best of...


November
Thursday
06

Discovery Series: All The News That's Fit To Sing: The State of Protest Music in...

KDHX presents "All The News That's Fit To Sing: The State of Protest Music in 1968" as part of the Discovery Series. Series passports can be bought online. This event looks at the music and activism of 1968, through...


Online Users

10 users and 9623 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook