Darlin’ Cory at the Alliance Theatre
Just before “Darlin’ Cory” started, my sister and I were in the bathroom saying we had no high expectations for the long play we were about to see. I assured her– as she normally dislikes live theater–that we could leave at intermission.
At intermission I asked if she had a cold. She had been blowing her nose a lot during the performance. No, she said, she was crying. I’m very emotional she said. She cried intermittently throughout the second act as well.
I didn’t cry at all and didn’t understand what had touched her so much. But I can say that from the moment the play started, I was enrapt in it. The action continually moved forward. There wasn’t a moment that the play stood still and I became bored.
I originally knew it was going to be about life of Appalachian country folk, folk I can’t relate to much as I grew up in Atlanta and later lived in Manhattan for six years. I imagined, and feared, it would be another one of those country plays where people sing and dance to yee-haw music. I had pictured banjos, dulcimers and guitars and tunes I could never relate to.
But I could. And the music was great, and the script, and the acting.
The irony is that yes, there are guitars and dulcimers, mandolins, and other string instruments, but the music moved my heart and my body.
Darlin’ Cory is more Faulkner than hootenanny. And like Faulkner, it’s terrific.
Book by Phillip DePoy, music by Sugarland’s Grammy-Award winning front man, Kristian Bush, “Darlin’ Cory” runs at the Alliance Theatre until Oct. 3.