The stories of six women who served in Vietnam full of shattered expectations, desperate encounters, and the anguish of the war zone are unforgettably recounted in "A Piece of My Heart."
By ROBIN EISGRAU
The voices of women who served in Vietnam get heard in this play, which
should appeal to anyone lamenting the cancellation of the "China Beach" TV
show. The experiences of six women (three nurses, one USO entertainer, one
Red Cross worker and one intelligence officer) before, during and after the
war are vividly played out here through compelling performances and minimal
Among several suitcases that serve as everything from airplane
seats to wounded patients, the stories unspool. We hear how each woman
decides to go to Vietnam. Each woman has expectations, such as the army nurse
who thinks she's going to be assigned to Hawaii and the singer-guitarist
who thinks touring the 'Nam will be an expense-paid career boost. Once
they arrive in country their dreams of storybook service are shattered by
the harrowing realities of war.
|A PIECE OF MY HEART|
|Written by: Shirley Lauro.|
Directed by: Nancy S. Chu.
Based on the book by: Keith Walker.
Cast: Marc Diraison, Amy McKenna, Marco Jo Clate, Robin Dawn Arocha,
Sarah Sims, Christine Rodgers, Gisela Adisa.
The chaos of life during wartime gets somewhat shrilly conveyed by the
actresses. There's a lot of screaming going on as they try to cope with the
endless stream of wounded and grim working conditions. Almost all the women
find refuge in booze and pot and the arms of various men. (The by-the-book
Vassar grad working for the Red Cross won't break the rules and sleep with
an enlisted man who's pressuring her and this makes for a fiery
confrontation.) The scene depicting the attack on the army hospital during
the Tet offensive is a truly scary one and is one of the most effective
moments in the play.
They all return home from Vietnam but have to grapple
with new problems such as alcoholism and Agent Orange poisoning and there
is a palpable feeling of some redemption that comes from a visit to the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial. What works most about "A Piece Of My Heart" is that
you feel you get to know these women and your heart goes out to them. A
most effective anti-war statement, this play is a vibrant testament to
the women's Vietnam experience.
|AUGUST 19, 2001|
OFFOFFOFF.COM THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK
Reader comments on A Piece of My Heart:
? from Jennifer, Jul 27, 2002
We won from Tyler, Oct 16, 2002
Post a comment on "A Piece of My Heart"