Review: '7th Monarch' is loaded with mystery

  • AP Top Stories April 18 A

    AP Top Stories April 18 A

    AP Top Stories April 18 A

    Here's the latest news for Friday, April 18th: Divers begin pumping air into submerged South Korean ship; Police arrest suspect in highway shooting case; Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb released from jail; Chelsea Clinton announces pregnancy. …

  • Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

    Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

    Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

    At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) …

  • Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri celebrated KKR victory!

    Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri celebrated KKR victory!

    Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri celebrated KKR victory!

    The IPL got off to a great start in Abu Dhabi on April 16, 2014 for Kolkata Knight Riders owners Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri whose team won. …

NEW YORK (AP) — The sweetest space cadet you'll ever meet is Miriam, the spunky heroine of a warm-hearted new play, "7th Monarch." The intriguing drama by Jim Henry, detailing several mysteries surrounding once-promising math whiz Miriam, is currently running in a compelling, finely-acted production off-Broadway at Theatre Row.

We first see Miriam (a remarkable, touching performance by Gretchen Hall) wearing her personal space helmet, dedicating a time capsule to her missing parents on a cliff in the middle of the night. In her early thirties, she's friendly, personable and sharp-witted, although oddly childlike and disconnected, with terrible social skills.

Miriam is accused of fraud by a Social Security office criminal investigator, Raina, (Leslie Hendrix, stern, yet not unsympathetic), for signing her missing parents' government checks during the past few months. Due to circumstantial evidence, she's soon also suspected of murdering her parents, whose disappearance she bafflingly explains as, "The stars went into their mouths and into their lungs and they went away in the comet."

Hall's performance is authentic, appealing and poignant. Her Miriam is quirky, bubbly and often very funny, even when things are definitely not going well for her. Investigators are surprised to learn she has a photographic memory and an astoundingly high IQ, and was considered a promising mathematical genius until she abruptly left college during her junior year.

The three law enforcement officials who enter her life and will decide her fate may sound stereotypical, but Henry gives them subtle personality quirks. Matthew Humphreys plays frustrated public defender Grey Collins with compassionate decency. Michael Cullen is very effective as weary, honest police detective Leo Garnes, just trying to make it to his imminent retirement. Complicating matters, the potential murder charge is eagerly seized on as a campaign boost by a self-impressed politician aptly named Sharpe (a crisp portrayal by Michael Rupert).

Director Scott C. Embler brings out the humor in Henry's writing. Despite some trite dialogue, procedural inaccuracies and the unlikely presence of cellphones in this 1991 setting, the mysteries and the relationship between the two women are intriguing enough to sustain the play. Scenes with Hendrix and Hall gradually drawing long-repressed secrets from one another are quite affecting, despite some melodramatic tinges.

Embler nicely stages overlapping scenes at multiple locations around Miriam's small Indiana town on the single set, efficiently designed by Shoko Kambara. "7th Monarch" leaves behind some lovely mental images, with celestial references creating apt parallels to Miriam's free-spirited, far-reaching mind.



Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily entertainment updates.

  • Tips penjagaan bawah lengan
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    Tips penjagaan bawah lengan 7 hours ago
    Tips penjagaan bawah lengan

    Di sini kami ingin berkongsi dengan golongan wanita di luar sana beberapa tips berguna untuk mendapatkan bawah lengan yang cerah. …

  • Ketahui kesalahan ketika bersolek
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    Ketahui kesalahan ketika bersolek Thu, Apr 17, 2014 11:43 AM MYT
    Ketahui kesalahan ketika bersolek

    Di sini kami ingin berkongsi dengan anda tentang beberapa kesalahan ketika anda bersolek. …

  • Makanan yang boleh kawal penyakit
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    Makanan yang boleh kawal penyakit Wed, Apr 16, 2014 11:08 AM MYT
    Makanan yang boleh kawal penyakit

    Di sini kami ingin berkongsi informasi mengenai beberapa jenis makanan yang baik untuk tubuh badan anda. …

  • Nobel winner Garcia Marquez, master of magical realism, dies at 87
    Nobel winner Garcia Marquez, master of magical realism, dies at 87

    By Anahi Rama MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian author whose beguiling stories of love and longing brought Latin America to life for millions of readers and put magical realism on the literary map, died on Thursday. A prolific writer who started out as a newspaper reporter, Garcia Marquez's masterpiece was "One Hundred Years of Solitude," a dream-like, dynastic epic that helped him win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. Garcia Marquez died at his home in …

  • Dapatkah Pelat Dipulihkan?
    Yahoo Newsroom
    Dapatkah Pelat Dipulihkan? Thu, Sep 19, 2013 1:54 PM MYT
    Dapatkah Pelat Dipulihkan?

    Pelat bukanlah disebabkan oleh lidah yang pendek. Apakah punca pelat? …

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.