Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Writing for Us
A CurtainUp Los Angeles Review
The Missouri Waltz
She plays Chrissie who, with her sister Bea (Dana Peterson) haunts the decaying family manse in New Madrid, Missouri. The year is 1973 and they're delighted by the return of their niece Zoe (Whitney Laux) from five years on a commune. Zoe's come home for good to have her baby, unaware that Bea's widower, Anton (Eric Pierpoint), has made a deal with realtor Jerry On-The-Spot (Weston Blakesley) to sell the property for unpaid taxes. The aunts, whose powers are weak initially, feed off the emotions around and aroused in them to manipulate furniture and lights, find Zoe's missing legacy, and scare off lascivious Bible-banging Uncle Anton.
It's a credit to director Angela Garcia Combs that this familiar comedy actually elicits laughs, builds suspense and, due in great part to the talented cast, can succeed in character involvement. Black's Chrissie is an elegant Southern beauty, given to self-deception but open to thoughtful moments of self-analysis. Her speech on abortion is an example of Black's best writing. Dana Peterson complements her nicely as the acerbic Bea. Whitney Laux plays a wholesome Zoe. The facets of fragility and scruffy commune life written into the character don't surface. Weston Blakesley gives Jerry a believably bemused quality as he senses the spirit of his lost love Bea inhabiting the old house. Eric Pierpoint is a wonderful cross between lecherous con man and good old boy. Black really pulled the stops out writing this character and Pierpoint takes it and runs with it.
The conflicts between the sisters, their affection for each other, and the memories of the men they loved are more absorbing than the stock plot. Let's hope that Black finds a future project that will find the life in her characteres.
Ginnie Ann Held's authentic set design incorporates such memorable artifacts as an old silver radiator, a Victrola, and a crystal chandelier. Songs with a lilt between Blue Grass and folk music are provided by Grammy nominee Harriet Schock. Most memorable to anyone who was there is Dancing With My Father.
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.
Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide
At This Theater