A Lovely Sunday for Creve Couer, Village Players Theatre. Like most Tennessee Williams plays, this one has literal and figurative heartache at its center. ("Creve coeur" is both French for a broken heart and the name of a popular amusement park just outside Saint Louis during the Depression.) But here Williams is less interested in showing us the tragic culmination of a wasted life, a la Blanche DuBois, than he is in showing us the roots of a possible future tragedy: Dotty has pinned her hopes for a bright future on an unreliable man but may settle for the companionship of Buddy, her roommate's steadfast but boring brother.
Written late in Williams's life, Creve Coeur has a delicate, subtle sensibility incompatible with the broader performance styles appropriate to his earlier, louder, more colorful plays. Productions that try to make this sweet miniature into a mural, as Cecilie Keenan did in her over-the-top staging in 1998 at Northlight, risk destroying its fragile charm. Fortunately Village Players directors Jack Hickey and Roxanne Fay keep things simple and play the script straight, with a minimum of fuss and camp, revealing the true beauty of this minor work. Cathleen Hennon and Lisa Pearson as the badly paired roommates at the center of the work deserve a nod for how well they play off each other without becoming Laverne and Shirley.