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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

bravery on stage


Albany Civic Theatre is offering a wonderful production of “Big Maggie” at 235 Second Avenue in Albany weekends through September 15.  It’s a harsh play about a woman who is hard on her four adult children.  Hard is an understatement.  She is downright cruel.

At ACT Big Maggie is played by Kathleen Carey.  In my review of the play (the previous blog) I called her performance “brave.”  It is brilliant work by an exceptional actress.

Anytime an actor has to go to the darkest part of their psyche it is always an emotionally dangerous choice.   Because few actors are able to do it, it is one of the factors I use in evaluating the talent of an actor. If you cannot visit .your dark side, you will always be limited as an actor.

But this performance took even more bravery by Carey.  In local theater the final week of opening a show is torture and pressure filled.  The nights are long, tense and filled with fear, doubt and last minute adjustments.

Few people outside the acting company know that week brought added tensions to the actress, a Troy native who teaches second grade at Sacred Heart School in Troy.

The Monday before opening, Kathleen’s 85 year old mother fell and broke her hip.  They operated on Tuesday. On Wednesday complications set in she was placed in ICU.  On Friday – the day the show opened – it was uncertain if Kathleen’s mother would survive.  

She did and will be discharged to rehab within days.

On Friday night, Kathleen Carey temporarily put aside her mother’s problems and gave the performance of her life. 

Ironically, the role was a mother who in trying to make her children stronger made them suffer.  The character was the opposite of Kathleen’s mother but finding a mother’s love within this harsh, cruel woman demanded the actress understand the deepest love a mother can offer – it had to be an exhausting and emotionally disturbing experience. This is what I think defines a “brave performance.”  

By the way, it is an excellent performance by Carey and everyone else in the cast and “Big Maggie”  should be seen. 

“Big Maggie” is at Albany Civic Theatre through September 15.  Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 3.  462-1297, albanycivictheatre.org

1 Comments:

Blogger Bubblegum Casting said...

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November 30, 2013 at 5:04 PM 

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