Crooked

0

Comments

Add +
HIGH-SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL Milioti, left, shares secrets with Herlihy.

HIGH-SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL Milioti, left, shares secrets with Herlihy. Photograph: Carol Rosegg

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>5/5

As Laney, the precocious 14-year-old fulcrum of Catherine Trieschmann's deeply affecting Crooked, Cristin Milioti keeps her sensitive eyes wide open—not out of innocence (though Laney is less skeptical than she thinks), but in wariness.

As Laney, the precocious 14-year-old fulcrum of Catherine Trieschmann's deeply affecting Crooked, Cristin Milioti keeps her sensitive eyes wide open—not out of innocence (though Laney is less skeptical than she thinks), but in wariness. The world has not been especially kind: Laney's delusional, schizophrenic father has been institutionalized, and she and her mother, Elise (Aidem), have moved to rural Mississippi; she suffers from dystonia, which makes her shoulders hunch up stiffly, and she writes violent, fantastical short stories, which she thinks of as "realism." Laney's sole companion at school is the heavyset, simpleminded Maribel (Herlihy), whose father is an evangelical preacher and whose beatific mien veils an acute sense of pain.

These lonesome and damaged people, at once strange and totally credible, have marvelous dimension in Liz Diamond's polished, multifaceted production for Women's Project. Some of the credit for their unusual aliveness and poignancy must go to Diamond's superb cast. The believably teenage Milioti, all goony bluffs and secret grudges, gives Laney an intense complexity; Aidem (who suggests a less amped-up Julie White) is winningly sympathetic as the practical, sometimes overcandid Elise; and the extraordinary Herlihy makes Maribel's fervent placidity fascinating and heartbreaking. Trieschmann's tender, precise writing gives all of them rich veins to tap; there is bittersweet comedy here, but also surprising cruelty. Delusion in various forms haunts the play like a host of demons, but the avenging angel of truth—channeled by a teenage girl—is no less fearsome to behold.

Julia Miles Theater. By Catherine Trieschmann. Dir. Liz Diamond. With Cristin Milioti, Carmen M. Herlihy, Betsy Aidem. 1hr 30mins. No intermission.

Users say

0 comments