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    Review: Bunbury's Women on Fire Heats Up the Stage
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    Women on Fire, the final installment in this season’s lineup by Bunbury Theatre Company, is a glimpse into the minds and hearts of women of all ages. It is one of those plays where the men in the audience can be counted on one hand, and the women can be seen nodding throughout the night saying, “Yes, that’s exactly right.”

    The play suffers from a series of inconsistencies; some of them in the script; some in the production itself.

    The twelve characters who tell their stories, other than being women, seem to have nothing in common. There is no thread that weaves them together. And though director Angela Miller tries to unite the narratives by having the women “pass a torch” of sorts between telling the tales, the result often seems contrived.

    The women themselves tell stories, a series of monologues illustrating the trials of life; their “fires” ranging from ‘smolder’ to ‘embers’ to ‘incinerator,’ so named by the playwright to describe the nature by which they deal with the circumstances that have unfolded in their lives. There is Rita, who made the difficult decision years ago to have an abortion; there is Elizabeth, a gardener who is living with the effects of a stroke; there is Fern, whose relationship with her daughter is fraught with dissention and discord.

    Among the cast of capable women are several notable standouts. Rena Cherry Brown as Clover takes command of the stage and brings the theatre alive with her captivating and intriguing foray into the high-stakes world of advertising, and Tiffany Smith (Audrey) draws the audience close as she carries her story with palpable truth. Janelle-Renee Hunnicutt and Jane Mattingly both enhance the production with added zest.

    Though the script itself suffers from its share of vagaries, the cast of Women on Fire have made their individual pieces work to their advantage, and the end result is a production that warms the heart.

    Women on Fire, produced by Bunbury Theatre, continues through June 28th. Tickets are $22/$19 and $10 for students, and are available online or by calling 502-585-5306. The Bunbury Theatre is located on the third floor of the Henry Clay Building, located at the corner of Third and Chestnut, 604 South Third Street, 40202.

    Image: Courtesy of Bunbury Theatre

    Michelle Rynbrandt's picture

    About Michelle Rynbrandt

    Before landing in the Possibility City, Michelle toured the country performing in various regional theatres. Having been there and done that, she can honestly say that Louisville's cultural opportunities are second to none.

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