This is one of Edward Albee's finest stories, which highlights the character flaws in humans. The transformation of the two main characters is subtle and bearable to watch only because it happens rather slowly, as the two sink into the quicksand of their own greed.
Jenny and Richard are a married couple struggling to live beyond their means. They are still in love but fighting about money is as constant as a dripping faucet.
Richard doesn't want Jenny to work but Jenny can't live like her neighbors and country club friends unless she has more money.
Jenny is then visited by a mysterious Mrs. Toothe who offers Jenny a job and lots of money.
It's unclear what the job is and Jenny refuses, though she takes a pile of $100 bills from Mrs. Toothe and she and Richard go out to a fancy dinner.
Jenny's beautiful garden means the world to her and she dreams of one day having a greenhouse. She swoons with thoughts of having the kind of money that would buy such things and she gives in and takes the job.
The rest of the play revolves around the big reveal: Jenny's new job, Richard's reaction and how it comes to consume their lives, their love and their future.
The acting by these two main characters is superb. Jenny, a prim, attractive 1960s housewife, was played by BriAnne Green. Green gave Jenny that single-mindedness: Keep your eyes on the prize, which in this case is money.
To achieve that goal however Green gave Jenny a calculating aloofness and made her as cold as a couple of ice cubes in a highball. All with chilling results.
The affable Richard was played by Justin Tinsley, who adroitly turned this jolly loving husband into a sobbing wreck and then into a monster.
Mrs. Toothe was played solidly by Vicki Lynn Maxey, a veteran actress who gave a veteran's performance here as a devil disguised in a business suit.
Jenny and Richard's country club dweller and millionaire Jack is played by John Klise, who has that tough job of addressing the audience while in character. It can come off as goofy and awkward, but Klise nailed it.
Director Scott Randall said he wants Red Curtain Foundation to "push the envelope of what community theater means in the area" and I think with this show he has pushed for high-quality performance.
He said he couldn't possibly be prouder of what the cast and crew have accomplished, as indeed, he should be.
"Everything in the Garden" starts at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday for its final weekend at Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett.
Tickets are $13 and $16.50. Go to brownpapertickets.com or www.historiceveretttheatre.org.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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