STRING OF PEARLS Is A Gem At Allens Lane

by Stephen Blumenthal

STRING OF PEARLS runs at Allens Lane Theater through May 21.

Michele Lowe’s STRING OF PEARLS is about a strand of perfectly rounded gems exchanging ownership, and the emotional affect they bring to the women who possess them.

That said, now get six actresses, split the 27 roles among them, and let them go. The zeal shown by Anne Bailis, Ginny Kaufmann, Ren Manley, Susan Mattson, Jessica Snow and Susan Triggiani under the careful direction of Maurizio Giammarco is wonderful to see. On a basic bare stage utilized with chairs or blankets as needed, a multitude of touching, comedic, absurd scenes take us through the journey of the pearls. Our ladies, with many quick costume and character changes, keep themselves on their true course. Costume design was provided by the cast and they did a remarkable job.

There are a number of monologues and maybe I lean a little to Anne Bailis’ opening one as outstanding, because it sets up the play
for us. She also performs a difficult sensual scene that gives another meaning to STRING OF PEARLS.

Sometimes when trying to connect all these characters, many of them are too fragmentary and improperly linked. The role of the hotel maid who finds the pearls and resells them to bring her daughter to America could have been dropped with no great loss.

The STRING OF PEARLS passes through many hands, but the wonderful cast nevers lets them lose their luster.

Written by Michele Lowe
Directed by Maurizio Giammarco
May 6 – 21, 2011
Allens Lane Theater
601 W. Allens Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119

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