by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: TRIUMPH PHOTOGRAPHY - Tricia Castaneda-Gonzales, Shandi Muff and Eleanor Johnson in Crimes of the Heart opening March 7 at Lakewood Theater Company. The comedy continues through April 13.

Lakewood Theatre Company continues its 61st season March 7 with Beth Henley’s dramatic comedy, “Crimes of the Heart.” Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the play is a warm-hearted, irreverent and zany look at the plight of three Mississippi sisters betrayed by their passions.

The setting is Hazelhurst, Miss., where the three Magrath sisters have gathered to await news of the family patriarch, their grandfather, who is living out his last hours in the local hospital. Lenny (Shandi Muff), the oldest sister, is unmarried at 30 and facing diminishing marital prospects; Meg (Tricia Castaneda-Gonzales), the middle sister, who quickly outgrew Hazelhurst, is back after a failed singing career on the West Coast; while Babe (Eleanor Johnson), the youngest, is out on bail after having shot her husband in the stomach.

Their troubles, which are grave and yet, somehow hilarious, are highlighted by their priggish cousin, Chick (Kristin Barrett), an awkward young lawyer named Barnette (Kevin Carroll), who tries to keep Babe out of jail, and by Doc (Stan Brown), who still holds a torch for Meg.

While they wait at the family’s old homestead, the sisters re-establish a close relationship that had gradually dissolved while the women pursued separate lives. The importance of family and community ties and the pressures of social expectations are examined as the sisters develop the necessary insight into themselves to restructure and continue their lives.

In the end, the play is the story of how its young characters escape the past to seize the future.

Set design for the production is by Chris Whitten. Lighting and sound design is by Mark LaPierre and costume design is by Patricia J. Rohrbach. The stage manager is Felix Kelsey and the producer is Kay Vega.

Directed by Diane Englert, “Crimes of the Heart” runs through April 13 with 7:30 p.m. shows Thursday through Saturday, 7 p.m. shows on Sundays March 9, 16 and 23 and 2 p.m. Sunday matinees March 16, 30, April 6 and 13.

The theater continues the Wine on Wednesday, or WOW: 25-35 program, with a special performance at 7:30 p.m. March 19. For people 35 and younger tickets are priced at $25 each. One hour prior to the performance is a complimentary wine tasting hosted by World Class Wines.

All shows are held at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State St., Lake Oswego.

Tickets are $32 for adults and $30 for seniors. Other discounts are available for students and groups. Purchase tickets online at or by calling the box office at 503-635-3901.

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