'The Miracle Worker' Review: A Wonderful Portrayal of a Timeless Piece

Historically, when America faces recession, the entertainment industry pulls out masterpiece messages of humanities ability to rise above the greatest of challenges.  Messages of enduring hope in the face of great adversity, and in this modern day recession, Director, Joel Daavid has once again answered back by bringing to the stage a play that depicts the very heart of the American soul – a story of triumph, a story of hope, a story of faith, a story of impossibilities becoming possible; The amazing story of Anne Sullivan, preciously known as ‘The Miracle

For anyone attending The Matrix Theatre to see this play, you will be captivated by all of the characters.  With staging and costumes of luxurious lace, hard earth-brown wood and completely fitting the times, your attention is immediately focused on the plot at hand, a child’s sickness creating devastating consequences, with the wonderful, Julie Austin Felder playing mother, Kate Heller, alongside Stuart Howard, playing the stoic Captain Keller, both giving impassioned performances of parents realizing the greatest of fears, the sickness of their beloved child, Helen Keller.

To bring to life the character of Helen Keller is no easy task but, without a doubt, Carlie Nettles rises to the occasion with beauty, maturity and discipline as she successfully brings meaning without the use of words; shares a connection with the other characters whilst showing every word they speak has been totally lost on deaf ears, and moves gracefully on stage whilst stumbling and grasping in an unspoken darkness.  Miss Nettles captured moments of stillness, where regardless of whatever else was taking place on stage, your eyes were transfixed on her, as she beautifully communicated her own inner story without moving a muscle.

And just as you think things have come to a plateau and you settle back in your seat to leisurely follow the plot, Erin Christine Shaver explodes onto the stage as the notorious and determined Anne Sullivan. Such is the fullness of her character and the brilliance of her performance, its almost as though what was previously being watched in black and white, has just been sprayed in wonderful Technicolor.  The stage, the characters, the story just comes alive and for any other play, this may have been seen as a negative, but for William Gibson’s, ‘The Miracle Worker’, it is perfect.  Miss Shaver is to the audience what Anne Sullivan was to the Keller’s, a burst of new life and new hope and an exciting, enchanting presence that literally fills the room with an electric energy.

Yes, this is a very well known story, which has been performed many times around the world, by a mélange of actors and directors and producers, both for theatre and film.  But praise again to Director, Joel Daavid, who has brought to The Matrix Theatre a timely message in a very challenging time. Indeed, true applause goes to the cast and crew of this wonderful portrayal of a timeless piece.

'The Miracle Worker' will be playing at The Matrix Theatre in the heart of Hollywood until March 8th, 2009.  You can catch this tremendous show on Thursday, Friday or Saturday at 8:00pm and Sunday's at 2:00pm. The Matrix Theatre is located at 7657 Melrose Avenue, CA 90046.  For reservations call 323 960 7863 or you can reserve on line at www.plays411.com/miracleworker.


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