The Alabama Tourism Department may not be too thrilled with Alabama Bound. Written and directed by Charlotte Higgins, this collection of five homey yarns shines a spotlight mainly on the grimmer side of life down on the bayou. Reminiscent of O. Henry's short stories with their twist endings, each vignette stands alone. The only link is solo performer Linda Nalbandian, who embodies various drawling denizens with bug-eyed verve and a folksy, conversational style. Her characters include a salt-of-the-earth 911 operator, a wizened nursing home resident and a doomed young woman living under an unlucky star. While the piece succeeds in establishing a sense of tone and place—and Nalbandian does an admirable job delivering each monologue with flashes of humor and heartbreak—the overall work lacks dramatic shape or a satisfying conclusion. For some, that could make Alabama Bound not worth the trip.—Robin Rothstein
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