Friday, May 14, 2010

The Miracle Worker -- Ivoryton

An engaging battle of the wills, as well as physical blows rages, as Annie Sullivan (Andrea Maulella) struggles to reach blind and deaf Helen Keller (Jenilee Lea Simons Marques) in Ivoryton Playhouse’s production of The Miracle Worker by William Gibson. Playhouse Artistic Director Jacqueline Hubbard directs a fine cast including Bill Carrington as Helen’s father, who resists getting his daughter the help she needs, Elizabeth Erwin as her mother, who just as determined to give Annie a chance, and Michael Raver as the spoiled and cruel half-brother who’s jealous of all the attention Helen receives. The production is well staged on a set by Cully Long that expertly uses the small stage to create a number of different rooms. Marques, who is deaf in real life, delivers a powerful performance and doesn’t miss a beat, even though she can’t hear the dialogue.The Miracle Worker runs through Oct. 11. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30, Friday and Saturday at 8. Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Tickets $15 to $35 and are available by calling 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. A production of Jerry’s Girls, a two-hour musical celebration of the women of Jerry Herman’s musicals follows at the playhouse Oct. 29-Nov. 15.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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