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The Execution of Mrs. Cotton

Members say: Confusing, Great acting, Dizzying
47
Critics
46
4 reviews
Members
57
1 review
 

Theater 4the People and spit&vigor presents a new play with music about the life and times of Elva Zona Heaster Cotton, a serial killer in the post-Civil War South. 

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Cotton preys, as all serial killers do, on victims who are most vulnerable to her: her husband and children. By taking a sympathetic look at the art of murder, this play explores the value of women’s work, their art, and their voices, and examines how several working-class men become vulnerable to a female serial killer while the world around them rapidly industrializes. Loosely based on a 'willful misunderstanding' of the historical context outlined in 'Mary Ann Cotton: Britain's First Serial Killer' by David Wilson, 

 


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Reviews (5)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
46
Avg Score

45
The New York Times

“While it’s refreshing to see a young company tackle period melodrama, the show, from spit&vigor, is erratic rather than rollicking...Mostly Ms. Fellini (whose performance is strangely impassive) and the director, Samuel Adams, tend to retreat instead of fully committing to their story’s most deliciously ghoulish side: They are content with 'petit' rather than Grand Guignol. Elva unabashedly embraced wickedness; if only her creators had shown similar gumption.” Full Review

25
Front Row Center

"In this mostly joyless production, Sara Fellini wears many hats. She is the playwright as well as the scar-faced yet comely title character...What she fails to do, however, is to create any likable character or find much purpose behind the on-stage homicidal tirades…The biggest sin is to let the first act drone on for a staggering hour and 45 minutes. Moving the break to the 75 minute mark would surely have resulted in a few more audience members hanging around for the final hanging." Full Review

55
Theatre is Easy

"The performances given by much of the cast are all top-notch. Fellini carries the piece exceedingly well…However, these performances get bogged down behind a script that needs serious revisions, edits, and an overall focus on what it is that's important to the show’s central message…At times, it is an entertaining study of a serial killer in the postbellum South. Otherwise, it exists as a piece that ultimately suffers from a script that poisons the efforts given by its actors." Full Review

65
Theater Pizzazz

"There is so much to admire about Fellini’s play, as messy as its first production is. Fellini is a writer with supreme vision...As she continues to explore her fascination with troubled female leads, her scope becomes more magnificent and what follows is in serious need of editing…Adams takes the script as a jumping off point to go big with staging and encourage larger-than-life performances and all of it is too much...I will take flawed work from spit&vigor over uninspired theater." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
57
Avg Score

57
Dizzying, Great acting, Confusing

See it if you wants to see an intense play with conflicting characters and great acting

Don't see it if you don't like to see limited staging which made the characters crowded. The story is a little confusing to absorb