The Empty Space Theater is still going strong as their 10th season in Bakersfield is in full swing. Well known for its fearlessness and bold show choices like Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America.” This time The Empty Space Theatre is setting their sights on the off-Broadway hit “Crimes of the Heart” written by Beth Henley and Directed by Bob Kempf.
“We have six months seasons and based on what people present to me and I what want to do, in this case “Crimes of the Heart,” it felt like it would just be a good fit. The talent we have here, especially the female talent. The four parts we had for women in this show, I knew they were the people to do it at this time,” said Kempf. “I enjoy plays that are written by southern playwrights. They feel things deeper, emotions are bigger.”
There certainly were no small roles in this performance. The three main actresses, Amy hall (playing Lenny), Cody Ganger(playing Meg), and Ellie Siversind (playing Babe) performed as the Magrath sisters and had excellent chemistry on stage. Their character’s portrayal of depth and longing for the betterment of their lives was only match by their regret and scars from their traumatic past. Jennifer Maddern (playing the sisters cousin Chick Boyle) was wonderful in her role as the passive aggressive socialite, always trying to either distance herself from her family or control them with shame and guilt.
A very poignant scene between the characters Doc Porter (played by Brian J. Sivesind) and Meg Magrath involving a scorned and discarded love, rekindled by Meg returning to her old home to deal with a family emergency and finding Doc still living in town with a wife and two children. Finally, Matthew Borton (playing the role of Barnett Lloyd), conveying the struggle of his characters desire to finally exact revenge on the man who destroyed his father’s lively hood or to save Babe from going to prison and in do so, giving up his only leverage to redeem his family’s honor.
The play has all the hallmarks of a southern tragedy, full of manic highs and soul crushing lows. The question remains, will these characters forgive themselves and each other or will they fall victim to the crimes of the heart?
The Empty Space Theatre is located at 706 Oak St.
Dates for the performance:
April 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 27 at 8pm
April 21 @ 2pm