“Crimes of the Heart” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy that takes on some serious issues to make a thoughtful and entertaining show. The Alley Theatre’s performance of sisterhood through hardship is on point.
Anyone with a sibling can relate to the rivalry, annoyance, and love between the three sisters. The interactions between the sisters are what makes the show hilarious and relatable. At some points, it was not clear if I should laugh or cry; the serious and dark moments are in between gags.
Skyler Sinclair makes her Alley Theatre debut in the role of Babe Botrelle. We have been following the UH alumna and rising star in the Houston drama scene. In this performance, she plays a woman who loves, life but who is desperately trying to remain balanced while walking on the brink of crisis. Babe’s character is similar to other roles Sinclair has played in “Oleanna” and “Miss Bennet,” a beautiful young woman who gets in over her head in a bad situation and relationship.
Chelsea Ryan McCurdy plays Meg Magrath as a fun but reckless middle child who cares deeply about her family even when she does not know how to. McCurdy makes her character is so likable, Meg is someone I would want to go bar-hopping with.
Melissa Pritchett (Lenny Magrath) is awkward and jealous, but admirable in the lengths she goes to take care of her family. Her character grows the most throughout the play, and Pritchett portrays each of her stages in a way that is incredibly real and down to earth.
Some of the victims in the play are not completely innocent themselves. It’s hard to feel sympathy for someone who does not fit our idea of the pure suffering martyr, but that’s the point. In real life, no one is entirely innocent, but they may still be deserving of sympathy and help.
Overall, “Crimes of the Heart” at the Alley Theatre is an engaging, hilarious and down-to-earth comedy that examines real issues of humanity, life and sisterhood.
The Alley Theatre is showing “Crimes of the Heart” through May 5. With a valid student ID, tickets are $16 for non-prime performances and $26 for prime performances (Friday and Saturday evenings, Sunday matinees). If purchasing online, use the promo code STUDENT. Fair warning, this play has themes of suicide, physical abuse, pedophilia and has an audible gunshot.