According to Pryor, Inez has the all-consuming allure to drive her abusive husband, Edgar (Christopher Curry), to new heights of frustrated rage, turn aristocratic attorney Druden (Michael DeGood) into an out-of-control gibbering idiot, and be the ultimate fantasy of poetically trash-talking neighbor Flowers (Steve Hofvendahl). Unfortunately, there is nothing in the unattractive, sexless, surly persona of Nickert’s Inez that would make any of this masculine adoration plausible or believable.
It seems the phenomenally frustrated Inez would do anything to escape the brutish Edgar so she can run away to Richmond with the wealthy and adoring Druden. Her supposedly raging desires lead her to enlist the aid of the local mystic, Butcher Lee (Mary Portser), and to enter into a partnership-in-murder with her husband’s best friend, the worshipping Flowers. But without the tangible, emotional and sensual catalyst of a truly magnetic heroine to move things along, the scenes simply plod on by without continuity or substance.
What does work are the performances of Curry and Hofvendahl. Curry’s slow-witted Edgar exudes a sense of raw, physical power that always seems to be on the verge of exploding into uncontrollable force. But the most rewarding performance comes from Hofvendahl, whose slow-talking, ominously calm Flowers appears to be missing some of the elements of normal human interaction but is eerily in tune with everything happening around him.
Far less successful is DeGood’s Druden, whose undisciplined, out-of-control emoting elicits more caricature than character. Also not faring well are Portser’s awkward portrayal of a small-town clairvoyant and Pattie Tierce’s under-volumed, under-rehearsed outing as the local police chief, Avon.
Worthington’s wonderfully imaginative, atmospheric, modular scenic design deserved a better production.