A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur

Home/A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur

Review: A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur is Fascinating

_dsc8741cropped

Erin Ormond, Kaitlin Williams, Stacie Steadman, Randi Edmundson. Photo: Cim MacDonald

 

Romanticism versus practicality, generosity versus spitefulness, working class versus professional, Williams comes back time and time again to themes that are universal, and digs deep into the intimate nature of these women’s lives to examine them.

It doesn’t matter that it’s 2016, when Bodey opines “there’s always a gossipy little group” she could be talking about life today.  And Helena, describing “dinner for one”, echoes the complaints of generations of lonely people while Dottie’s relentless pursuit of physical fitness and the man she dreams of definitely rejoin concerns of modern women. Heartbreak and disappointment are inevitable.

Set designer Amanda Larder, through judicious use of suspended doorways and windows, and complete working kitchen, creates the claustrophobic impression of the tight confines in Bodey and Dottie’s cramped efficiency, paying particular and faithful attention to the playwright’s descriptions.  When Helena laughs at the décor, what had originally appeared charming takes on a completely different look as seen through her eyes—a sad example of the German tenements so far removed from her experience.

Lighting (Marsha Sibthorpe) illuminates crucial moments of despair—Dottie sobs disconsolately under the soft haloed light in the bedroom, and Helena steps out of the action for a moment to show her true feelings.

Crystal Hanson’s costumes clearly define the class distinctions—Bodey is dowdy in her house dress, Helena–crisp and elegant as if stepping off the society pages, Dottie—girlish in a gown that cost dearly and Sophie frumpy in be-ruffled peignoir.

dottie-creve-coeurStacie Steadman as Dottie. Photo: Cim MacDonald

While elements of nostalgia are at play in terms of décor and household convenience, present day audiences will be grateful for societal changes sometimes taken for granted—Bodey rejoices in an extra half-Saturday off, Dottie has happily “crossed the line”, Helena arrives for a visit that is not expected.

Boundaries and limits are clearly defined–a Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur is fascinating in its exploration of how these four women test and conform to them, and in the interplay in their relationships.

Director Sarah Rodgers and actors have crafted a sensitive, nuanced production that inspires viewers to want to know more, and proves, once again, the profound ability of Tennessee Williams to transcend time and place.

A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur has a limited run. Don’t be disappointed.

A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur at the Chemainus Theatre Festival
September 9-24, 2016
Tickets: from $28

Original Story Link

A Tennessee Williams Gem

Rarity begets richness – revealed at The Chemainus Theatre Festival.

Lovely Sunday

As we scour scripts for our season, we are sometimes surprised to find a lesser-known play that is bursting with character and entertainment. A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur is one of those lucky discoveries.

Written by well-known author, Tennessee Williams, the delicate and dynamic story is often overlooked in comparison to his famous works—The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, —and  is often underestimated.

The short play premiered in June 1978, a few years before Williams’ death, and caused immediate buzz – though not in the usual admiring fashion. Though A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur explores Williams’ most frequent of themes – heartbreak – it does so with an unexpected tenor of kindness and levity. Upon its debut, the nostalgic softness, rich symbolism, and witty dialogue of the story caught both fans and critics off-guard. And yet, at its heart, this play once again delivers “the Gothic joke of the American dream gone wrong.”

It is through a jovial lens and clever characters that Williams illuminates more solemn mid-century struggles. From schoolteacher Dottie’s naïve and desperate dreams to matriarchal matchmaking roommate Bodey, domineering colleague Helena, and the ever-present but never prominent mourning Miss Gluck, Williams pinpoints the still-familiar feeling of coping with loneliness and despair.

Despite its worldly themes, the play often departs from realistic technique into a unique blend of poetic language, slapstick humour, and sincere and tender moments that are sweet, different, and totally enjoyable.

We feel fortunate to share this masterful story, and hope that you will join us for another great Festival experience.

Book Your Tickets

Book online or call the box office now to book your tickets! 1-800-565-7738