Gone but not forgotten

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  May 27, 2008

But the sisters and their traumas are hardly original. Health-food hawker Teresa is the fort holder, who stuck close to home, took care of Mum, and resents that. Mary has a skeleton floating in a memory pool she admits may be as infused with imagination as fact. Catherine, the youngest, is the wild child, repeatedly abandoned by all lovers except Jack Daniel’s and Mary Jane. The sisters “don’t get on,” and the play ricochets between funeral arrangements and their pithy squabbling. It’s telling that this tear-strewn work won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy.

Way Theatre Artists is a feisty young troupe, co-producer with Zeitgeist Stage Company of last year’s ambitious and terrific The Kentucky Cycle. Some of the accents here sound closer to Dublin than Yorkshire, but the rhythms fit. And the production fields a few jarring details, among them the inclusion among Mum’s finery of a Wonder Woman costume — though the scene in which the disparate sibs put on their mother’s embarrassing garb and wind up in a communal fit of inappropriate laughter is among the play’s less trite. And there’s a standout performance by Amanda Good Hennessey as the acerb and disappointed Mary, who’s grieving for a lot more than Mum. Perhaps she should change her name to Amanda Goods Hennessey, because she’s got them.

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