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Saturday September 20, 2014
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"Wake" at the Purple Rose

 

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and believable, and Crim managed to wring originality from the familiar coming-of-age story of one character on her way up and another on his way down, plus some saucy dialogue.

Like Growing Pretty, Wake celebrates the domestic life cycle, and its tragicomic beginnings and endings. But Crim's newer play, which runs through August 23, is not nearly as well controlled. At the center of the action is Molly Harrison (Michelle Mountain), an agoraphobic mortician who is having trouble getting on with her life after the death of her husband. From the minute I opened my program I had my hackles up. What, exactly, is the point of an agoraphobic mortician? It has the sound of a joke ("heard the one about the agoraphobic mortician?"), but Crim gets surprisingly little mileage out of it. Lots of snappy banter ricochets around the stage with the well-timed ping of good comedy, but in the end Wake has little to say about either agoraphobia or morticians. I began to suspect Crim had invented the setting because she'd thought of a great title: "wake" is at once a rite of death, a command to live, and something that trails behind, and the word has a richness, complexity, and ambiguity that Crim couldn't seem to locate anywhere in the script.

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