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They say: Lake Charles, Louisiana. 1960. Cathryn has returned home after a life-altering tragedy sees her expelled from college. Concerned by her self-destructive behavior, her family brings in Patrick Vacus, a fiery young minister, to change her ways.
Lindsey’s Take: Vaguely reminiscent of The Hours, the feminist frustration of TAME. seeps into the audience from fiery protagonist Cathryn. When she returns home from college, for reasons unspoken, her family dynamics become painfully clear. Mama gave up drinking for the church, but there is still gin to be had in the house if you look hard enough. Sister Bea is smitten with the young preacher, but reads romance novels on the sly. Daddy can’t know about any of that, but his hold on the family is still strong. And Cat returns home after a personal tragedy to vex them all, a clash of Southern avoidance and drunken charm.
As the sway of the church sets in, the young preacher arrives to save her – and further similarities to Shakespeare’s Shrew end there. His sadistic side is eerily convincing and charismatic from actor Henry LaGue, a standout among the cast, though his motivations aren’t entirely clear. An hour is not quite long enough to provide the depth for Cat’s decisions and the consequences of her taming, but the frustration of her situation shines through. She fights the tyranny of paternity, the reality of her loss, and her own selfishness. Whether she gives up the battle or wins on her own terms is up for debate.
See it if: Post-modern period stains tell a story of crushing societal expectations.
Skip it if: Feminist narratives aren’t your deal. Comedy can be found on Page 12 of the Fringe guide.