The Placer Performance Calendar


Great Local Shows - Theatrical Reviews

Title The Miracle Worker
Organization Sutter Street Theatre
Date(s) of show February 8 - March 9, 2014
Reviewer Dick Frantzreb
Helen Keller was an important, inspirational figure in American history.  And the story of how Anne Sullivan brought her out of the isolation of deafness and blindness is powerfully depicted in The Miracle Worker.  The play itself is well written, engaging an audience, not only with the drama of the early interaction of teacher and pupil, but with thought-provoking insights.  The small, intimate space of Sutter Street Theatre (with a well thought out and surprisingly elaborate set) creates an effective setting for this story.  For me, it was drama that, after a fairly slow start, drew me in, grabbed me by my emotional handle, and held me there until the end.
Among the cast of 13, there were some truly fine actors, but the success of a production like this rises and falls on the quality of the two main characters and they were superb.  Camy Rae Wilson was totally believable as Helen.  Without the help of any dialog (obviously, because young Helen was mute), she crafted her character with consistency and intensity from the moment she appeared on stage.   And Heather Warren did beautifully in portraying the internal conflicts and personal strengths of Anne Sullivan, especially her assertiveness and determination.  But it was the interaction of the two principals that was so forcefully and effectively done full of physical action that seemed perfectly choreographed.
I expected a good story when I went to see the show, but there was much more to it than that.  It was an evening of intensive, fulfilling entertainment.  And if you miss it, especially the extraordinary interaction between Helen and Anne, you will have missed something truly special.

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