Written and Performed by MIRIAM KULICK
Directed by GRETCHEN CRYER
Studio Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), NYC
April 19th, April 20th, April 27th and April 28th 2012
Stage Manager MATTHEW CABBIL
Lighting Designer MARIE YOKOYAMA
House Manager DOUG WILLIFORD
Publicity SCOTTI RHODES
The playbill for OPEN HEARTS describes the piece as, "about the willingness to make changes no matter our ages, to let go of those no longer with us, to forgive our past mistakes, and to live our lives in truth, no matter the obstacles." In about an hour, Miriam Kulick, channeling seven different characters ranging in age from 8 to 90, conveys that message.
OPEN HEARTS opens with an introduction to Sadie Nussbaum on her 90th birthday. She is a spirited woman who lives alone in New York City, and through her, the audience is introduced to her circle of family and acquaintances, both living and deceased. In short order, we meet Sadie’s daughter Deborah, calling her mother not to wish her a happy birthday, but to tell her she will be travelling to Darfur, Deborah’s girlfriend, Henrietta, Sadie’s nephew, Peter, maintenance man, Fernando, a Middle Eastern refugee/survivor, Anwar, and Sadie’s 8-year old granddaughter, Greta. All have faced hardships, and all are survivors. The evening comes together in the telling of their stories.
Ms. Kulick succeeds in conveying seven distinctive personalities with little more than a modification of voice and manner. There are no full costume changes, and the scene changes are accomplished through a dimming then rising of the lights, and perhaps a change in hairstyle, yet the sense is that a unique presence has entered the stage. OPEN HEARTS is filled withhumor, but it is certainly the kind of humor born, if not of tragedy, of having overcome sadness and loss.
- Kessa De Santis -