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Three Blooms 

A trio of sharply acted New Yorker-style stories by Amy Bloom

Wednesday, Mar 10 2004
Amy Bloom is best known for her first story collection, Come to Me, which deals with affairs, therapists, and other stuff you'd expect to find in a New Yorker story. Three of the volume's stories -- "Hyacinths," "The Sight of You," and "Silver Water" -- still hold up onstage, more than a decade after publication. Word for Word produces works of fiction verbatim (no edits, no adaptations) and the effect is dependably terrific. These three Bloom pieces focus on different members of a Midwestern Jewish family. "Hyacinths," set in the '40s, is about a farm boy named David who watches his cousin shoot himself through the chest by accident, and then moves, under a cloud of shame and suspicion, to live with a glamorous uncle and aunt in New York. "The Sight of You" is told two decades later by Galen, David's wife, who has an affair with a construction worker during a treacherous, glaring suburban summer. In "Silver Water," David and Galen's pianist daughter Violet tells the bizarre story of her sister Rose, who had a world-class voice as a girl. Rose turns schizophrenic and obese as a teenager, flirts with her therapists, and sings nothing but lame commercial jingles. Ringing performances by JoAnne Winter, Gabriel Marin, Amy Kossow, and Katy Stephan make all three pieces work. Randall Stuart's direction stutters a little, though: The puppets in "Hyacinths" are awkward, and the whole evening feels infused with too much sweetness, too much daylight and gentle delicacy, even if the lightness is meant to be deceptive.


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