It becomes ever more clear as the journey takes us along that you better beware when you search, for what you find may well not be what you expected.
That’s at the core of the fascination with "The Detective’s Wife," the one-woman show that had a triumphant opening over the weekend at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.
Director James Tasse and actor Mary MacDonald Kerr are no strangers to each other on Milwaukee stages and they combine here to create a masterpiece.
Kerr plays Alice Conroy, the 52-year-old widow of a Chicago homicide detective who was recently killed in an alley behind an aging movie theater.
Conroy has lost her voice after the murder but she has not lost anything else, including her driven curiosity that has made her an addict of pulp mysteries. She figures she has read over 14,000 of them during the 30 years of her marriage.
That addiction is a driving force behind her on-again off-again search for the particulars of her husband’s killing.
This play revolves around the journey she takes to the final riveting 20 minutes when all truths are revealed. I’m not going to reveal the ending, so as not to ruin the evening for those wise and fortunate enough to see this production.
But the trip she takes is full of sorrow, psychological meanderings and a good measure of humor, most of it self-deprecating.
The phrase "tour de force" is overused in the world of the arts, but it certainly applies here to Kerr’s performance.
Understand here that Kerr is alone onstage for two hours, with only the wonderfully comfortable set designed by Sandra J. Strawn as a space to play.
But Kerr has a range virtually unmatched in this city and her marvelous ability to connect with an audience is wonderful to watch.
She can make you laugh one moment, tear up the next and then breathe with comfort a moment later.
Kerr is the first winner of the Ruth Schudson Leading Lady award, named for the co-founder of Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.
A visit to see her in "The Detective’s Wife" will clearly show why she was chosen.
"The Detective’s Wife" runs through Oct. 13. Information is available at chamber-theatre.com.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published Dec. 20, 2014
Theatre Unchained has had a couple of great productions this season but their Christmas offering doesn't come close to matching what they have done. It's a story that's trite, confusing and doesn't belong in anyone's Christmas stocking.
Published Dec. 19, 2014
All In Productions is a new theater company that made its debut with a wonderful production of "The Last 5 Years." The musical is a romantic and intelligent story of a relationship, with one side told from the end to the the beginning and the other side telling the story in reverse
Published Dec. 18, 2014
The latest application for Silk Exotic to open a strip club in Walker's Point has been turned down again. But there is plenty of evidence that the committee had already made the decision before the public hearing began. This battle is not over.
Published Dec. 16, 2014
How do you explain why a hot, successful team like the Green Bay Packers lose to the Buffalo Bills when there is so much at stake? It's a complicated answer, but it isn't just statistics or even motivation that seem to be the problem. A loss like that may not even be avoidable at some point.
Published Dec. 14, 2014
The sixth edition of "Who Killed Santa" by the Umbrella Group has become a highlight of the holiday season in Milwaukee. But unlike almost all the other traditions, this one not only takes the gloves off, it never even had any gloves. If you like your humor both funny and raunchy, this show is just for you.
Published Dec. 13, 2014
A 50-year-old play about race seems like a perfect fit for the discussions raging across American today. And while the play has lessons, they get lost in too many amateur moments in the production by World's Stage Theatre Company.
Published Dec. 11, 2014
"A Christmas Carol" is a story well over 110 years old but it still has a magic and the MilwaukeeRep manages to find new pieces to keep the audience delighted. It is running for the 39th consecutive year at The gorgeous Pabst Theater.
Published Dec. 11, 2014
Cases in New York, Ferguson and Cleveland are getting a whole lot more press than the case of Dontre Hamilton here in Milwaukee, It sure seems like his story deserves to be right up there with the others.
Published Dec. 10, 2014
This is the season when thousands of people try to do something special for those less fortunate. There are lots of good causes out there, but a tiny South Side church runs programs for the homeless and it has a very special fundraiser coming up.
Published Dec. 9, 2014
Marquette has always had a pretty good basketball program but there is something about the whole thing that doesn't inspire love. As a matter of fact, in some quarters, it's very easy to hate the Golden Eagles.