The Miracle Worker
Every day, there is an opportunity to buy tickets to a new
play a few weeks or months in advance at a seriously reduced price. It helps theaters sell as many tickets as they can before
the opening. The Miracle Worker showed
up in the mail and when I saw that Alison Pill was going to be performing, I
figured why not.
I bought tickets for Emily and me and we went last
night. The performance takes place
at Circle in the Square. This
particular theater, or perhaps this particular play, feels like a touristy
venue. You walk into room where
all the stadium seats circle the stage.
The set is hung from the ceiling and comes down when needed for each
act. Actually quite clever.
The story, has been told time and time again. It is the story of Helene Keller and
her teacher Annie Sullivan.
Keller lost her sight and hearing at the age of 19 months after probably having scarlet fever. She grows up and is
completely out of control. Not
surprising, she is smart as a whip and hasn’t learned anything so she is
frustrated and angry. The family
is at its wits end and is considering putting her away in an institution.
For a last effort, the family finds a place in Boston that
sends them Annie Sullivan to help Helen.
Although a graduate of the Perkins Institute for the Blind, Annie has her own set of baggage.
Raised in an institution and 9 surgeries to repair her own eyes, she came out on the other end as a tough minded teacher. She takes Helen under her wing, disciplining her and the
parents, while teaching Helen language. She believed that language is the key to life.
It is a moving story which is why it is told time and time
again. The impact that both
Helen and Annie have made for disabled people around the world is staggering. They taught the world that being disabled didn't mean you weren't capable.
Alison Pill plays the teacher. She is an incredible actress. All her performances are good in anything that she takes on. I have seen her on Broadway before and would go see anything
on Broadway that she performs in.
Abigail Breslin plays Helen.
She confirmed for me that she is the real deal. She can seriously act. Matthew Modine, after 50 some odd
movies, debuts with his first Broadway performance. Who knew? He is
The play is good, the acting is really good but there is
something a bit juvenile about the play.
Maybe it is the audience they are catering too. Perhaps it is the content that deals with Keller's earlier years. My sister-in-law is coming in June with
my two nieces who are 8 and 10. I
told her to buy tickets for this.
It is the perfect first play to expose young kids too. They will get it, it is a drama not a
musical and they will walk away with an appreciation for a live
performance. A nice diversion for
this group to see vs the obvious choice of a musical.
I am glad we went.