|Ella and Weston Tate|
The Wilma Theatre, located at 265 S. Broad Street is producing Curse of the Starving Class through April 8. Sam Shepard’s dark comedy gives us a rare look at how desperation and deprivation drives people to their own individual breaking points. Weston Tate, brilliantly portrayed by Bruce McKenzie, represents the violence and anger of an alcoholic. The father of a lower-middle-class family in rural California, he can do nothing to piece together the destruction that has been wrought. The mother, Ella Tate, played by Lorri Holt, becomes fed up with being mired in melancholy, misery and the mayhem of her life and hatches an escape .plan with Taylor, portrayed by Peter Schmitz. Taylor is an attorney involved in real estate and he is representative of all the major corporations that take advantage of those who are down on their luck. Nate Miller gives an excellent performance as Wesley Tate, the son in the family. Not being able to accept giving up the famiy's land and fearful for his father’s life due to threats about overextended loans, Wesley undergoes a complete meltdown. His sister, Emma, portrayed by Keira Keeley fares no better as she cannot cope with the family dynamics and runs away on more than one occasion The play was written 30 years ago and the set is an authentic kitchen area for the time period. Cooking is done on stage on an old gas stove and food is put in an old refrigerator. On the surface, this captivating account is about the destruction and desperation of a family. In reality, it is a microcosm of society in crisis. The portrayal of such heart-wrenching experiences requires the actors to appear well rounded and able to express mood changes with authenticity. The entire cast is well up to the task. Kudos for acting jobs well done. For more information about this show or for tickets, call 215-546--7824 or visit online at www. wilmatheater.org.