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REVIEWS

Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, by Ed Grayczyk
Come Back to the Five-and-Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
Thursday, May 14, 2015
4.5
Peering through the lens of causality during a time of inequity and single-mindedness, Come Back to the Five-and-Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean provides a unique look at how the friendships people form can grow and achieve catharsis over time. I’ve had the good fortune to have seen this Ed Grayczck play performed numerous times in the past, but this weekend’s performance at Lionheart Theatre was truly a standout.

The first and one of the most recognizable strengths of this production is the quality of its set design by Tanya Moore. The set is “deceiving to the eye” (as they say frequently throughout the play) and delivers a sense of appreciation for a bygone Americana. The use of clever lighting deftly conveys the many different jumps through time and gave the audience the ability to see how time molded the characters’ personas. If I had one complaint about the set, it would be the tables situated close to the end stage which forms a unnatural barrier between the audience and the actors.

Director Rick Thompson leads a talented cast that represents the same characters over the span of two decades and centers around the Disciples of James Dean, a devoted, if not demented, fan club. Taking on the role of both protagonist and antagonist, Cat Roche’s interpretation of Mona, a conflicted woman struck with the duality of possessing a regal bearing while being borderline delusional, sets the tone for the entire play. Portraying the vivacious Sissy, Lisa Finlayson captures the character’s vulnerability belied by her promiscuity. Arguably the most powerful moment in the play comes when Joe (Melissa Rainey) pleads for the affection of the younger version of Mona (Jillian Walzer). While I could very easily rain praise down on each actor multiple times, they all have their individual moments to shine on stage.

I think the show has one or two weekends left. If you happen upon this review, I can’t encourage you enough to see this play before its run ends.

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