Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Agnes of God, City Theatre, April 29 - May 23

Agnes of God is a dark piece, in a dark place in the soul and in the universe. The three gifted actresses in this cast are glittering points of an enigmatic constellation in that darkness.

A crime has been committed in a convent. Jennifer Underwood, admant and authoritative as the mother superior, clashes with Dawn Erin's Dr. Livingston, the skeptical, chain-smoking psychiatrist appointed by the court. Laura Ray's performance as a stressed and confused young novice demonstrates impressive intensity and maturity. Taken together, these three actresses embody for us the ages and the fragilities of women in our time.

Partly a crime investigation and partly an examination of troubled souls, Pielmeier's play is a mystery in two senses. The first, almost banal, is the puzzling out of the facts of a murder, through interrogation, speculation, and, finally repeated sessions of hypnosis. The second sense of mystery in this piece is that of human motivation.

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