Lucy Lavely, Maxey Whitehead and Kelly Campbell in Crimes of the Heart. Photo by Gary Sweetman.
As director Barbara Redmond remarks in her notes for the Banyan Theater Company’s production of Crimes of the Heart, Beth Henley’s three sisters in the play do bear a strong resemblance to another well-known three sisters—the ones of Chekhov’s enduring play. They are, like Chekhov’s women, trapped in a small town with longings to escape, and the specter of suicide does hover over each family. There are other comparisons to make as well, but of course Henley’s Magrath sisters bear more than a few distinctive Southern eccentricities of their own.