Schuster Theatre presents ‘Crimes of the Heart’ tomorrow


staff writer

Whether you want a glass of lemonade, a bottle of Coke or just a night out with some Southern gals, Gannon University’s Schuster Theatre opens its season with “Crimes of the Heart” Thursday.
In this drama-comedy, three sisters, Lenny, Babe and Meg, deal with love and loss on Lenny’s 30th birthday. Meg is back in town and causing trouble with her “loose” lifestyle and constant lies. Babe just shot her husband and is having an affair. Lenny is just trying to look out for her two younger sisters and a sick grandfather. Throughout the play, this family nags and argues, but in the end their bond prevails and their love for each other shines through.
The play takes place in the home of the eldest sister Lenny, opening on her struggle to make wishes on a cookie for her birthday. Throughout the play, the actors battle intense dialogue while performing everyday tasks of cooking, smoking and squeezing lemons. The concentration to stay focused on lines while also acting natural about these simple tasks is admirable. In the midst of acting, the sisters continually erupt into arguments, where one is shouting over the other. To say the least, it felt as if I was with my cousins during Thanksgiving where we all spat senseless words for the sake of arguing. Every piece about these sisters’ relationships was very relatable and believable, and oh-so-entertaining to watch.
Each sister has a very different personality she brings to the stage. Lenny is responsible and puts her family before her own life. Junior Kara Headley brings forth a wonderful display of sisterly love during the chaotic news of death within her family, while setting her wilder sisters in their place.
Meg is the wild child of the family, who moved away to start a singing career in California. Her return only brings out her selfish nature, which Lizzy Merski emphasizes with the “walk” and attitude to match.
Babe, played by junior Megan Hamm, is the youngest and slightly naïve sister. From her innocent facials and sweet Southern voice, it is easy to depict her as the baby of the family.
Each actor speaks in a Southern accent; some sound like smooth sweet honey, while others are difficult to understand. Just like a Shakespeare play, it takes time for the listeners’ ears to adapt to the new language. About 10 minutes into the play, I began clearly understanding the comedic repartee between each character.
To celebrate the opening weekend of “Crimes of the Heart” Alpha Psi Omega and the cast/crew will be hosting the Patron of the Arts Reception from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“Crimes of the Heart” opens at 8 p.m. Thursday. Tickets for the show can be reserved by calling 814-871-7494 or online at The red reservation button is on the bottom of the page.

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