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Best Ensemble Cast St. Louis 2009 - Three Tall Women

Art isn't easy, Stephen Sondheim laments in one of his more popular theater songs. Art is especially not easy when it's written by Edward Albee — which is why the Muddy Waters staging of Three Tall Women, Albee's dreamlike meditation about femininity, was a jaw-dropping revelation. What happens in this play? Not much. Except did we mention that the three actresses (each playing separate roles) must, by evening's end, morph into the same person at different stages of life: ages 92, 52 and 26. Under Jerry McAdams' direction, three impeccably cast performers — the luminous Nancy Crouse, who anchored the evening as a dying dowager; Kate Frisina as her brittle foil of a caregiver and Laura Sexauer as a seemingly innocent attorney — were so in tune with each other that they could weave in and out of reality with the greatest of ease and clarity. Albee's affectations made for absorbing theater.

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