MONTVERDE — When three McGrath sisters reunite after a family crisis, they must own up to their "Crimes of the Heart."
The 1981 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy drama by Beth Henley opens at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, by the new Outside the Box Theatre in Montverde.
Raised by their grandfather after their mother hanged herself — along with the family cat — the three sisters revel in a plot that overflows with Southern gothic eccentricities while being funny about serious matters.
The oldest sister, dependable Lenny, played by Lizdel Collado, bemoans her joyless life after staying at home as her grandfather's caregiver.
"She has the weight of the world on her shoulders," Collado said. "And she is desperate for happiness."
The middle sister, footloose Meg, played by Cindy Shepherd, has just returned from California after a nervous breakdown put an end to a failed singing career.
"She led that life because she didn't want to be considered a weak person," Shepherd said.
The youngest sister, reckless Babe, played by Sara Reeves, married a local lawyer who is rich and popular but has just shot him and has bailed out of jail.
"Sara brings a truthfulness to the part," director David Brown said.
Brown, chosen by producer Andre Provencher, has put the accent on the comedic side of the comedy-drama that provides family drama and sibling rivalry as rich as a crab gumbo.
The plot is further complicated by three other characters, Babe's young lawyer, played by Neil Pickering; Meg's old flame, played by Brendon Rogers; and Lenny's nosy next-door neighbor and the sisters' cousin, played by Rachel Stidham.
The play will continue at the Franklin Pearce Jr. Auditorium, 17404 Sixth St., through Feb. 24.
Performances begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.
For reservations or for more information call 321-663-2608 or e-mail outside_the_box_FL@yahoo.com.