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The darker side of suburbia revealed

 

April 15, 2013

Everything in the Garden

The women of "Everything in the Garden" (from left) Cherie DeKeyser, Christina Ward-Lind, Vicki Maxey, Melody Mistlin, BriAnne Bailey Green. Photo by Leilani Saper, Click and Tell Photography.

 

Jenny and Richard are living the 1960s version of the American Dream, struggling to keep up with the Joneses and their affluent neighbors, opting for a country club membership instead of a lawnmower in their effort to maintain appearances. They both want more—but Richard’s pride won’t let Jenny find a job, so the couple’s chances of increasing their income is slim.

 

Coincidentally, Jenny gets an unannounced visit from Mrs. Toothe, a proper yet somehow menacing woman who offers Jenny the opportunity to make money—a lot of money--to buy a greenhouse, new clothes, and all the other luxuries they have been craving.

 

Richard's realization of how Jenny is earning their newfound wealth comes almost simultaneously with the return of the couple’s sixteen-year-old son from school and a champagne cocktail party they are hosting to impress their country club friends. Appearances are paramount, so his horror, disgust and rage must be kept under wraps, hidden from the neighbors. He doesn’t realize that the neighbors might have secrets of their own.

 

"Everything in the Garden," written by Edward Albee (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”), is rich with subtext: the corruption of money and the rottenness of a bigoted suburbia where conformity to its illicit standards and its hypocritical show of respectability is all that counts. Surprisingly, Albee finds moments of humor throughout the story as well. Due to the subject matter, “Everything in the Garden” is not recommend for children under 14 years old.

 

The play is directed by Scott B. Randall, with stage management by Samantha Lee.

 

“Everything in the Garden” runs April 26-May 12 at the Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave. in downtown Everett, with performances Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $13-16.50 and may be purchased at the theatre box office or at www.brownpapertickets.com.

 

Red Curtain Productions is the producing entity of Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts, a non-profit arts education organization located in north Snohomish County. Visit www.redcurtainfoundation.org for information.

 

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