Friday, November 20, 2009

Three Tall Women

Pulitzer Prize-winning script, excellent dramatic tension, fine performances, yadda yadda yadda ... What you need to know about this show is that, despite the fact that it's a drama, it's hilarious.

In less skilled hands, with less polished timing and delivery, the play could have been a lot of rambling monologues about riding horses. But Mikenzie Ames, Patti O'Hara and especially Nancy Suiter bring humor to almost every aspect of the play.

Just watching Suiter's maudlin sobbing was enough to make the audience hysterical, let alone when she tells naughty stories and uses racial slurs. I really think her repetitive monologues about riding could have been dull delivered by most actresses, but she makes even them entertaining.

O'Hara shows a nice range, portraying the consummate, patient caretaker -- even laughing off Suiter's accusations that she's been stealing from her, and excusing the old woman's myriad faults -- all through the first act, then suddenly turning to fury and outrage when her son comes back in her life.

It would be hard to keep up with these two, but Ames did a great job, telling her sex stories with relish and approaching the two other women with a sort of superior, righteous indignation that occasionally relaxes into warmth before she remembers why she can't stand them.

The Alley Repertory show closes this weekend at the Visual Arts Collective behind the Woman of Steel Gallery on Chinden. It starts at 8:00 Friday and Saturday (not at 7:00 as I mistakenly posted earlier in my roundup).

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