SISTERS UNITE WITH LOVE IN “THE CRIMSON THREAD”


BONNIE GOLDBERG

Sisters share a special bond, a connection that is evident and poignantly so in “The Crimson Thread.” No need to pack a trunk or get a passport for travel, courtesy of Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury, you’re invited to go back in time to the emerald green fields of Ireland. Begin your journey in 1869 with two sisters who are facing separation and the prospect of never meeting again and follow subsequent generations of the same family to the New World.

Two decades ago Mary Hanes wrote this moving and tender tale of Irish immigrants that enjoyed its world premiere here at Seven Angels Theatre in 1994, with Dan Lauria as director and a trio of actresses, Stephanie Zimbalist, Shanna Reed and Kathleen Noone.

Now Artistic Director Semina De Laurentis is revisiting “The Crimson Thread,” that has been requested many times over the years by its original audience. Here the sisters, dear and close, will bring their stories once again to the stage: Melissa Macleod Herion, Barbara McCulloh and Kelly Campbell, until Sunday, March 16.

At the sod cottage in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland in 1869, we first meet Eilis and Bridget.¬†Eilis is growing weary and fretful that her husband Daniel has been gone three long years, off to America, to earn passage and escape poverty for his family. A very pregnant Bridget has brought her sister a letter from the Promised Land and Eilis is afraid to even open it. For Bridget, the letter represents hope.¬†She is ready to fight to guarantee a future for her brood, knowing her husband’s sickness from working in the coal mines is terminal.

The next scene moves to a widow’s walk in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1889 where Kathleen is trying to comfort her sister Fionnuala, inconsolable since her husband Charlie has been lost at sea. Kathleen works to transfer strength, hope and promise into her grieving sibling.

The play ends in New York City in 1911, just after the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire where 146 women perished, women who earned $4 a week, working 14 hours a day. Maggie is their fiery and dedicated voice and even though sister Nora brings word of their mother’s illness, she is vigilant in her quest to make a difference. Semina De Laurentis directs this sterling cast with a sensitive and caring hand.

For tickets ($31-45.50), call Seven Angels Theatre, Plank Road, Hamilton Park Pavilion, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at Performances are Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Get swept away in the poetry and passion of these sisters’ stories that will touch your heart, while providing both laughter and tears.

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