Atlanta Art Reviews by Susan K Asher
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As I Lay Dying

2009 July 8
Amy Rush as Dewey Dell

Amy Rush as Dewey Dell

If you’re troubled by the economy and dysfunctional relationships, see life as it was in the rural South in the 1920s.

In the backwoods in the hills, there’s a sordid affair with a preacher, a daughter who gets knocked-up as she is seduced for the first time, and a sane son who will be committed to a mental institution. Poor Addie Bundren, the matriarch dies at home and it takes the family days to transport her coffin 40 miles away to her hometown of Jefferson, in which she had requested to be buried. Her daughter Dewey Dell tags along, searching for a place where someone can help her abort her baby. And Addie’s toothless widow, Anse, comes on the burial trip just so he can buy a set of teeth and find a new wife.

Amy Rush, who plays daughter Dewey Dell, is a stand-out as is the live and recorded music. As she is seduced, we hear a recording of a crooner from the 1920s, “You’re the kind of girl that men forget, just a toy to enjoy.”  Whether she’s performing as a marionette, a person or a shadow puppet, Rush is full or passion and compassion. Musician Damon Young gives the production a light, carnival feel as he throws plastic eggs at some of the shallow characters of little substance. Originally performed in 2007, the script has been tightened so much that the show is only 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Haverty Marionettes’ version of William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” plays at the Hertz Theatre at Woodruff Arts Center through this weekend.For ticket info, visit Hertz Theatre.

One Response Post a comment
  1. July 8, 2009

    OMG. I’m gonna have to go read that part again now where so-in-so (forget the name) is “driving” the coffin on the front porch. One of literature’s finest, side-splitting moments.

    Or was it O’Connor? FO and WF always get all jumbled up together in my pea brain.

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