Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

My Sister's Wedding



Cynthia Rich's 1955 story is a creepy little tale of the Landis family: elder sister Olive, chafing under her widowed father's quasiincestuous domination, finally escapes by eloping with the humblest of suitors; younger sister Sarah Ann, passionately jealous of her father's unequally meted affections, vows to care faithfully for that parent in precisely the manner that he cared for his children; and the ultimately pitiful Dr. Landis learns too late that as he sows, so will he reap. It is still disturbing, even today. StageCraft Productions's dramatic adaptation of this Southern-gothic shocker, first performed in Evanston last year, was a small, exquisite gem of a play, featuring stellar performances by Doreen Bousquet, Va Hamilton, and Michael Daly as well as original music by Robert Bousquet and Scott Sherry poignant enough to make a tombstone weep. The production currently playing at Puszh Studios retains this music and shines no less brilliantly for a cast change that renders the draconian Dr. Landis, as now played by Bob Merckel, a bit too boyish. The performances of Doreen Bousquet (reprising her role of Sarah Ann), Carolyn Valentine as olive, and Joseph Lutz as the latter's rescuer more than compensate for this single flaw. StageCraft has also added to the evening's program a series of readings adapted from the works of various authors, all dealing with the theme of father-daughter relationships. Some are humorous, as in Ralph Schoenstein's wry recollection of his elder daughter's first date, and some are serious, as when Elyce Wakerman's eight-year-old narrator lies on the first day of school rather than reveal to her new classmates that her father died long ago. At a time when fathers are too often portrayed as simplistic amd irredeemable villains, these performances provide a refreshingly varied view of this complex intrafamily dynamic. Puszh Studios, 3829 N. Broadway, 327-0231. Through October 17: Thursdays-Fridays, 8 PM; Saturdays, 4 and 8 PM. $10-$12.

Add a comment